Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton said he didn’t appreciate being told to "consolidate" his pace towards the end of the Spanish GP, while he was still harbouring hopes of chasing down teammate Nico Rosberg.
Having used a three-stop strategy to clear Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who had passed him off the startline – Hamilton was on fresh medium tyres for his final stint, with Rosberg running older hards after two-stopping.
A lengthy debate over the radio ensued as he and his engineer discussed whether it was possible or not to catch Rosberg to challenge him in the closing laps.
With more than 10 laps remaining, Hamilton was told over the radio: "We should just consolidate the position.”
“It’s not nice for a driver to hear that,” said Hamilton of the request. “I’m here to race, not here to finish second. Naturally I ignored that, and I was pushing and really putting the car on the edge.
“When I realized that I had seven laps to go and I was 13s [behind Rosberg] and I was only seven-tenths of a second up, I had to take the smart approach and just bring the car home.
“But, still, it’s not something you want to hear. I will definitely be making sure that it’s not said again.
“Naturally, by me pushing he has to push. And it puts both cars at risk, so that’s understandable.