Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ CEO, has sided with Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer in the tyre row.
After a fifth-place result in Istanbul, Lewis Hamilton was furious.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ CEO, has sided with Lewis Hamilton’s race engineers following the seven-time world champion’s overruling of the team during the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was enraged over his team radio after Mercedes chose to pit the 36-year-old from third place during the race’s closing laps, after the Briton initially ignored race engineer Peter Bonnington with only eight laps remaining.
On lap 51 of 58, Hamilton confessed defeat as his tyres began to deteriorate and dove into the pits as the Mercedes slid around the track.
He finished sixth, behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and was overheard on the radio screaming that the team had made the incorrect decision.
“We shouldn’t have come in,” Hamilton said. “Man with a massive graining machine. As I previously stated, “He went on to say more.
Bonnington was overheard giving Hamilton an update on Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly, who was in sixth place in his rearview mirror.
“Leave it alone dude,” Hamilton muttered as he crossed the finish line in fifth place, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen retaking the championship lead and extending his advantage in the driver standings to six points.
After the race, though, the Mercedes chief explained the reasoning for the pit wall decision.
Sky Sports F1 quoted Wolff as saying: “Taking it extremely conservatively and pitting when everyone else pitted for the intermediate, coming out behind [Sergio] Perez and maybe behind Leclerc and fighting with them on track for P3 would have been the perfect option.
“It’s fascinating because the intermediate appeared to be quite difficult, but we reasoned that if we hung in there long enough, we could finish third without stopping.
“Alternatively, if a dry line arises, we could switch to a soft tyre until the end, so that we could choose between pitting and being cautious, fighting with Leclerc and Perez on the track for P3, or taking a chance and winning or finishing third.
“Then we watched Leclerc and Lewis drop off, and it was evident we weren’t going to make it to the end.”
When asked if he supported the strategy team, which had requested Hamilton to come in eight laps before, Wolff said, “It would have been better than what we ended up with.” Brinkwire Summary News “..