Sir Lewis Hamilton has apologised to his Mercedes team for the way he spoke to them in the closing stages of the Dutch Grand Prix.
Hamilton and George Russell had both cleared the Red Bull of Sergio Perez in the pits, as well as the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz following a botched pit stop.
They started on the Mediums, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on the Softs, so when the two leaders pitted, the Mercedes drivers stayed out, and were planning to go on a one-stop onto Hards.
After their stop though, the Virtual Safety Car was released when Yuki Tsunoda stopped by the track, giving a free stop to Verstappen.
However, Leclerc had already pitted, so they ended up in front of the lead Ferrari when both drivers made an additional stop of their own.
A full Safety Car came out late on when Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo came to a halt at Turn One, but the Mercedes cars were too close together, so they did not have time to double stack them.
Eventually, the German side brought Russell in while leaving Hamilton out, and Verstappen’s subsequent stop put him into second behind the now leading seven-time champion.
The Red Bull driver took the lead on the restart and, on old Mediums, Hamilton was then passed by Russell and Leclerc, as a potential win became fourth.
Hamilton was on the radio telling his team that they had “screwed” him by choosing not to pit him, or to leave Russell out on track behind so the 24-year-old could fend off Verstappen.
Team boss, Toto Wolff, apologised to his driver on the radio after the race.
“Yeah Lewis sorry it didn’t work out, we did what we discussed in the morning,” said the Austrian.
“We took a risk and it didn’t work out, but let’s discuss between us in the office.”
Race engineer, Peter Bonnington, shared a similar sentiment.
“Sorry about that Lewis, it was looking good but yeah, we’ll sit down and review decision that we made there,” he added.
The Briton had calmed down by the time he got out of the car, and he chose to see the positives from what had been a competitive weekend for Mercedes.
“I really was hopeful that we were going to get a one-two together as a team,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“Especially after… we’ve not had a great year, an up and down year, we’ve not had a win since [Saudi Arabia 2021], so it’s finally there within our grasp.
“But then, of course the Safety Car really didn’t help, and I was just on the edge of breaking point with emotions.
“And, 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 that it’s just so much passion and I want to look at it as the glass half full.
“We came here struggling from the last race, we were fighting against the Red Bulls today.
“We were quicker than most at many points; without the Safety Car I think we would have been challenging them for the win at the end on the one-stop, which I don’t think the others could do.
“So, so many to great things to take from today. The car was finally working.
“If this can be the same in the future races, we’re going to be continuing to breath down their necks [Red Bull and Ferrari], and we’re going to get that win.”
Russell’s second-placed finish, meanwhile, was his sixth podium of the season.