Lewis Hamilton bluntly blames Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton lost several places after Mercedes failed to pit him and George Russell quickly enough.

Lewis Hamilton admitted that he “paid the price” for Mercedes’ early race blunder, which also impacted George Russell.

Following his Q2 elimination at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday, Hamilton started Sunday’s race from P13.

He opted to start on the Medium tyre, in a bid to run a long opening stint.

However, a huge downpour occurred at the end of the opening lap, which saw most drivers pit for Intermediates on either lap two or three.

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Mercedes initially decided to make Hamilton and Russell stay out on track, where they lost considerable time.

Eventually, the Silver Arrows called both drivers in to pit, which dropped them towards the bottom of the field.

Hamilton did well to work his way back through the field to finish sixth, but he was critical of the team’s error after the race.

“I was the only one on the medium tyre. I wanted to be off-set to the people around me but not everyone on the grid,” Hamilton said.

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“When that rain then came out, we as a team made the wrong decision. Ultimately it was the team’s call and we paid the price for that.

“We came out last and then we were just chasing. I think it was a really good example of when you fall or stumble to get back up and keep trying.

“Every time I had to pit I came out behind and I kept chasing and it was not that easy to do.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was also very annoyed by the blunder, given that the W14 was actually quite fast.

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He admitted that the team kept both drivers out “catastrophically too long”, with it having become a race of recovery.

“I think we stayed out catastrophically too long,” Wolff said. “We got it completely wrong and it is annoying because the car had real pace.

“From there on, it was just recovering as good as we could. I would rather have a fast race car and a mediocre result even though it hurts. It is bittersweet because the result is just really bad.”