Hamilton explains why Mercedes F1 tyre call left him 'frustrated'

Lewis Hamilton believes he wasn't on the best race strategy for the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix and feels he should have either pitted earlier or gone to the end without stopping.

The Mercedes driver had climbed up to third place from 11th on the grid, having taken a 10-place grid penalty coming into the race for an engine change, and was the last of the runners to make his sole pitstop for fresh intermediates on lap 50 – while Esteban Ocon was the only driver not to stop for the entire race.

With the intermediate tyres, Hamilton's performance started to fade due to heavy wear, and Mercedes called him in with eight laps to go, which dropped him to fifth place behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

The majority of drivers suffered with a graining phase on fresh intermediate tyres, losing performance around two to three laps into the stint, meaning Hamilton dropped the rear of Leclerc and came under pressure from Pierre Gasly behind.

While Hamilton was able to hold on to fifth place at the chequered flag, he let his frustration be known over his Mercedes team radio throughout his final stint about his race strategy.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton felt Mercedes should have either pitted him earlier and in sequence to the drivers he was fighting or instructed him to preserve tyre life to make it to the end without pitting.

"The tyres are bald, so you don't know how far they're going to go," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. "And so there is definitely the worry of the life of the tyre. But also I wasn't really that fast at the end there. I was struggling at low grip. Not really sure why.

"Then all of a sudden, I have not such bad place. But I was losing performance to the guys behind. I think probably in hindsight, I should have either stayed out or come in much earlier.

"Because when you come in with eight laps to go, you don't have time to go through the graining phase of tyre on a drying track. So then I went through this whole sliding phase where I nearly lost four positions. A bit frustrating, but it is what it is.

"It felt good to be in third and it was like, 'if I can just hold on to this, this is a great result from 11th'. Fifth is worse but it could be worse."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff revealed the team's strategy predicted Hamilton would have been caught by Perez and Leclerc had he stayed out until the finish and wanted to avoid the higher risk of tyre failure due to extreme wear.

"Yeah, DNFing and you are losing all the points, that is obviously catastrophic," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"He would have been caught up by Perez and Leclerc in any case if we would have tried to stay out so that that would not have worked.

"The conservative play, pitting early on track behind Perez and Leclerc and trying to overtake probably the best, but the probability was not the right thing to do."

With F1 world title rival Max Verstappen finishing the Turkish GP as runner-up to Valtteri Bottas, the Red Bull driver has regained the world championship lead by six points from Hamilton.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel takes responsibility for dry F1 tyre call in Turkey
Previous article

Vettel takes responsibility for dry F1 tyre call in Turkey

Next article

Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it

Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021