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Turkish GP: Lewis Hamilton ‘disappointed not to follow my gut’ but Mercedes defends pit-call


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Lewis Hamilton shares his frustration on team radio after losing his seat by changing tires towards the end of the Turkish GP

Lewis Hamilton shares his frustration on team radio after losing his seat by changing tires towards the end of the Turkish GP

A “disappointed” Lewis Hamilton believes his Mercedes team should be defeated and the Turkish GP should not be stopped, although Toto Wolf defended Pitt’s decision amid the threat of “catastrophic” race retirement.

After a subtle return to dramatic and controversial finishes, Hamilton’s two-point title fell six points short of Max Verstappen’s as the seven-time world champion and Mercedes disagreed on strategy.

Hamilton was running third behind Verstapen with just eight laps and had already seen him commit to a full 58 laps without stopping, ignoring previous instructions to change his middle tires. But Hamilton then agrees to stop, which puts him in fifth place – where he will finish the race in wet Istanbul Park.

“**** Man why did you leave that place?” The team blew up Hamilton near Pete Bonnington, a trusted engineer on the radio. “We shouldn’t have come. I told you.”

Hamilton calmed down a bit after the run, but still felt his team made the wrong call.

Lewis Hamilton felt that in order to achieve the best results in Turkey's GP, he might have to stay out or decide to dig first.

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Lewis Hamilton felt that in order to achieve the best results in Turkey’s GP, he might have to stay out or decide to dig first.

Lewis Hamilton felt that in order to achieve the best results in Turkey’s GP, he might have to stay out or decide to dig first.

“I think I should have stayed out,” Hamilton said F1. “My gut feeling was to stay out, and I think that’s what I should have done. So I’m frustrated within myself for not following my gut.”

Asked by Sky F1 if his tires could hold the whole race, Hamilton said: “[Esteban] Oakon did, so they probably could.

“It felt good to be in third place and I thought it would be a great result if I held on to it [starting] From the 11th. It’s worse, but it could be worse. “

Mercedes: ‘Hamilton didn’t see how much he was getting off’

Mercedes boss Wolff, however, backed his team’s strategy – insisting that Hamilton would lose his position if he had a comfortable buffer with Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez if he stayed away from the position and could not finish the race.

Toto Wolf thinks Lewis Hamilton's best call for a tire change was to drill holes first and fight for track position

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Toto Wolf thinks Lewis Hamilton’s best call for a tire change was to drill holes first and fight for track position

Toto Wolf thinks Lewis Hamilton’s best call for a tire change was to drill holes first and fight for track position

“We thought we might just sit there and finish third without stopping, or if a dry line was seen, we could end up in a soft tire,” Wolf told Sky F1.

“So we have to balance the pitching, fight very conservatively for P3’s track against Leclerc and Perez, or gamble a little and win third.

“Then we saw Leclerc go off and Lewis drop out and it was clear we couldn’t do it in the end.”

Wolf said Hamilton didn’t see how much he was “getting off” in the middle tires and compared to the Englishmen who were stopped, and the Englishman should have come when he was first asked to do so on Lap 42 of 58.

Anthony Davidson has closely watched the problems of the middle tire during the Turkish GP.

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Anthony Davidson has closely watched the problems of the middle tire during the Turkish GP.

Anthony Davidson has closely watched the problems of the middle tire during the Turkish GP.

“The right call probably made it very conservative and tingling when everyone else stood up for the insiders, came out behind Perez and Leclerc and fought with them for P3,” he said. “It was probably right, but it’s only with insight.”

With just six points behind Hamilton Verstappen, Wolf added: “DNFing and losing all the points, it’s obviously catastrophic. We’d be caught by Lakelark and Perez if we tried to stay out so it didn’t work out.”

How Mercedes and Hamilton pit-stop drama team performed on the radio

Lap 42
Hamilton’s race engineer Pete Bonnington: “Box box, box box.”
LH: “Why?
PB: “The way to the new Inter.”
LH: “I don’t think so, man.”

Lap 43
LH: “Looks like we should be out.”

Lap 50
LH: “I mean I’m wandering around, but it’s okay, so far.”

Lap 51
PB: “Okay Lewis so we think we should box in this lap, this is the last chance before losing the gap to Gasley.”
LH: “Of course, that’s fine.”

Lap 52
PB: “So three gassly [seconds] Back, three behind. “
LH: “**** Man why did you leave that place?
“Looks like we’re going to lose position anyway.”

Lap 54
LH: “Where am I?”
PB: “Currently P5”
LH: “We shouldn’t have come here. Lots of grain. I told you.”

Lap 55
PB: “Gasley in a second.”
LH: “Leave it, man.”

Hamilton’s tires were ‘in the right range’

Despite Hamilton’s protest, F1 tire supplier Pirelli added that Mercedes was right to push the English.

Asked by Sky F1 if the tires would last until the end of the competition, Pirelli boss Mario Isola said: “Looking at the tires after the race, I wouldn’t say or at least it was really on the limit.

“Wearing tires, especially at the end of the race, they were basically running on construction. Pushing the boundaries like today is a bit dangerous. I fully understand that in a race situation their results have to be maximized.”

He added: “It was really, really limited. I was advising our assigned engineers to wear teams to replace the tires, not in the end, because it’s a risky move.”

Voltaire Botas says it feels good to be at the top again after claiming his first win of the season at the Turkish GP.

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Voltaire Botas says it feels good to be at the top again after claiming his first win of the season at the Turkish GP.

Voltaire Botas says it feels good to be at the top again after claiming his first win of the season at the Turkish GP.

Hamilton acknowledged his “concerns” about Tire’s life but complained of struggling hard after the new mediator was hired.

“Tires are bald so you don’t know how far they’re going, and of course there are concerns about tire life,” Hamilton said. “But I wasn’t there so fast in the end, I was struggling, I had the determination and I’m not really sure why.

“I think maybe insight I should either be out, or come much earlier because when you bring eight laps you don’t have time to go through the middle tire grain episode of the drying track. Then I went through this whole sliding episode where I I’ve almost lost more posts. It’s a bit disappointing, but that’s it. “





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