Dutch GP: Lewis Hamilton apologizes for furious outburst as Mercedes explains ‘risk’ of strategy

Lewis Hamilton moved from first to fourth in the closing stages of the Dutch GP after a controversial strategic call from Mercedes; F1 heads to Italy next weekend with all sessions live on Sky Sports F1 from September 9-11

Last update: 22/09/04 6:10 p.m.

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Lewis Hamilton has apologized to the Mercedes team for his radio rant

Lewis Hamilton has apologized to the Mercedes team for his radio rant

Lewis Hamilton has apologized to his Mercedes team after admitting he ‘lost it for a second’ as he unleashed a furious rant on team radio following a controversial late strategic call during of the Dutch GP.

Hamilton looked in good shape for his first win of the season when he and team-mate George Russell led Max Verstappen in the closing stages, but Mercedes called on Russell for soft tires, leaving Hamilton, on an average of eight rounds. tires, immediately vulnerable to restarting.

Verstappen easily passed Hamilton on the straight as the race resumed to claim victory, while Russell and Leclerc also passed Hamilton to let the seven-time world champion finish fourth.

“That was the biggest problem,” Hamilton said during the race on team radio. “I can’t believe you ****** me man.”

However, after having the full picture explained to him by his team after the race, the 37-year-old issued an apology.

Hamilton expresses his frustration with Mercedes' strategic decisions on team radio during the Dutch Grand Prix

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Hamilton expresses his frustration with Mercedes’ strategic decisions on team radio during the Dutch Grand Prix

Hamilton expresses his frustration with Mercedes’ strategic decisions on team radio during the Dutch Grand Prix

“I was just on the edge of the breaking point with the emotions,” he said.

“My apologies to the team because I don’t even remember what I said. I just lost it for a second.

“But I think they know it’s so much passion.”

Karun Chandhok reflects on Mercedes pit calls during Dutch GP that cost Hamilton potential win

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Karun Chandhok reflects on Mercedes pit calls during Dutch GP that cost Hamilton potential win

Karun Chandhok reflects on Mercedes pit calls during Dutch GP that cost Hamilton potential win

Wolff: We were screwed anyway

Toto Wolff radioed Hamilton an apology at the end of the race, but the Mercedes team principal insisted they were “screwed” whatever decision they made.

“First of all, we’re the driver’s trash,” Wolff said. “It’s very emotional, you’re so close, you’re racing for the win and then you’re being eaten alive. So it’s clear that every emotion comes out, and as a pilot you’re in the cockpit, you’re alone, you don’t don’t see what’s going on.

“We discussed in the moment, are we taking a risk for the race win? Yes, we are taking risks. He had a tire that had five laps from the middle, holding position was the right thing to do.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says they took the risk of winning the race with Hamilton and it didn't pay off

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says they took the risk of winning the race with Hamilton and it didn’t pay off

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says they took the risk of winning the race with Hamilton and it didn’t pay off

“In the end it didn’t work out for him, but I’d rather take the risk of winning the race with Lewis than finishing second or third.

“You can do two things, you can either pit Lewis, lose track position to Verstappen, and leave George out – screwed.

“You can pit the two against each other – screwed up. So it was worth the risk.”

Max Verstappen overtakes Hamilton on restart after end of safety car

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Max Verstappen overtakes Hamilton on restart after end of safety car

Max Verstappen overtakes Hamilton on restart after end of safety car

Russell, who had to take evasive action to avoid contact with Hamilton as he passed his team-mate, said he was “sorry” for Hamilton but was “very happy” with his decision to s stop for soft tyres.

The 24-year-old suggested he played an important role in persuading the team to retire him for soft tyres.

“I really wanted to pit this soft,” said Russell, whose second place took him 30 points clear of Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship. “I don’t know if you heard the radio or not, but I was adamant that it was the right call.

George Russell says Mercedes deserved a better team result

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George Russell says Mercedes deserved a better team result

George Russell says Mercedes deserved a better team result

“Potentially I thought the team was probably going to make that call anyway because it makes sense to split the cars in a situation like that. Obviously Lewis being the lead car is a bit more tricky. .

“I was surprised we didn’t go to the pits at first, but when we got through the pit lane it was finally a free pit stop, so we’re glad we made that decision.

“It’s so easy in hindsight, but I think what would have happened if we had both stayed out is that Max would still have won the race and we would probably have finished behind Charles as well. So, as a team, finishing second and fourth is not quite the result we probably deserved today We definitely should have stood both on that podium, but it’s so hard in the heat of the action.”

Rosberg: Mercedes had to exclude winger Russell

Former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who won the world championship in 2016 as Hamilton’s team-mate, criticized the strategic call.

“The most important thing for me is if you decide to take a risk to win, like they wanted to do by keeping Lewis on the rack, then do it right,” said Sky Sports F1 pundit Rosberg.

Nico Rosberg thinks Mercedes should have left Russell out to maximize Hamilton's chances of winning the race

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Nico Rosberg thinks Mercedes should have left Russell out to maximize Hamilton’s chances of winning the race

Nico Rosberg thinks Mercedes should have left Russell out to maximize Hamilton’s chances of winning the race

“You have to leave that winger over there with George right behind because it’s going to increase the chances of Lewis so much to really get that win.

“The way they did it was taking a risk that was never really going to work out, because Max was just too fast right off the bat on that soft tyre.

“So that’s what I think they haven’t quite figured out, but of course it’s hard to decide at that point.”



Dutch GP: Lewis Hamilton apologizes for furious outburst as Mercedes explains ‘risk’ of strategy

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