Lewis Hamilton was fifth at the Turkish Grand Prix, a result which saw him lose his lead in the F1 drivers’ standings to Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton was described as ‘hurt’ and feeling like he’d ‘taken a few punches’ after the British driver endured a frustrating day at the Turkish Grand Prix. Hamilton, 36, came from 11th on the grid to finish fifth, but only after dropping out of the podium places with eight laps to go after being ordered into the pits by Mercedes against his will.
It will be of little consolation to the seven-time world champion that team-mate Valtteri Bottas led from start to finish to end his wait for a first F1 win of the season, with the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez second and third respectively.
Before he was called in, Hamilton, who held a slender two-point lead over title rival Verstappen ahead of the race, was set to concede just three points to the Dutch driver but after dropping back into fifth, the gap is now six ahead of this month’s United States Grand Prix in Austin.
Hamilton was quickest in qualifying but started 11th after a penalty for using too many engine parts, and after getting up to third wanted to hang on to the end on the same set of intermediate tyres on which he started the race.
After rejecting a series of calls from Mercedes to call him into the pits, he was eventually ordered in as the team feared his balding tyres dropping off badly in the closing laps.
However, the call appeared to backfire as Hamilton instead ended up fighting off Pierre Gasly, having lost places to Perez and Leclerc.
“We shouldn’t have come in, man,” Hamilton said over the radio. “I have massive graining. I told you.”
Afterwards, Sky Sports pundit Paul di Resta said Hamilton’s demeanour portrayed the scale of his dissatisfaction.
“I was trying to see the reaction of Lewis’ body language. He’s down, he’s hurt. He feels like he’s taken a few punches,” he said.
“I think the frustrating thing for him is that he had a very dominant car. Way beyond where Red Bull were this weekend. What Max was able to do and Red Bull were able to do, they just protected it and secured it.
“Unfortunately with Mercedes. “Brinkwire Summary News”.