Lewis Hamilton lays the blame on Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton hasn't hesitated to publicly voice his frustration with Mercedes this year.

Lewis Hamilton endured a challenging race at the Dutch Grand Prix, securing a sixth-place finish. 

Despite the outcome, Hamilton remains steadfast in his conviction that a questionable team call hindered his prospects of contending for a coveted podium spot.

The British racing ace, piloting for Mercedes, faced an uphill battle from the outset, starting from a daunting 13th position on the grid. 

An unfortunate performance during the qualifying session on Saturday led to his relegation outside of the Q3 cutoff. 

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As a result, he was tasked with making his way through the pack in the midst of a tumultuous Sunday race, with hopes of securing a respectable points-bearing outcome. 

To distinguish his strategy, Hamilton embarked on a distinctive path by commencing the race on medium tires, setting himself apart from the competition.

However, the emergence of rain early in the race prompted an unexpected turn of events. 

All drivers were compelled to switch to intermediate tires as early as the second lap. 

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Mercedes made the call to keep Hamilton on the track a bit longer, resulting in a pit stop on the fourth lap. 

Regrettably, this decision cost Hamilton valuable time, relegating him to the back of the grid.

Reflecting on the team’s strategic move, Hamilton candidly remarked, “When that rain then came out, as a team we made the wrong decision. 

“Ultimately, it was the team’s call and we paid the price for that,” expressing his sentiments to Sky Sports F1 after the race. 

Hamilton recounted his efforts, stating, “Then we came out last and I think after that, just chasing, kept my head down. 

“I think it was a really good of just when you fall or stumble, to get back up [and] keep trying. 

“Every time I had to pit, I came out behind and just kept chasing and chasing. 

“I was really happy with, I got past the McLaren for example on this track, [which] is not so easy to do. 

“I was quicker than Sainz at the end, just needed the DRS [to overtake him].”

Hamilton executed another pit stop on lap 10 to transition to dry tires, elevating him to the 16th position. 

Progressively, he manoeuvred his way up the ranks, landing in sixth place before a red flag was raised on lap 65. 

Post-restart, he consistently challenged Carlos Sainz’s fifth position, displaying his tenacity and determination to advance further. 

Regrettably, despite his efforts, he remained in close pursuit of Sainz but was ultimately unable to overtake him.

Had it not been for the initial strategic misstep, Hamilton asserts that he had the potential to vie for a spot on the podium. 

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He reflected on the race, emphasising, “I think today, I think I had the pace to in the conditions if we had made the right call, I had the pace to be challenging the top two. 

“Particularly when we got to the dry and pace wise I think we weren’t terribly far off. 

“Not saying that we’d beat them, but I think we would’ve been [close].”