The Turkish Grand Prix brought frustration for Sir Lewis Hamilton, with him feeling the team made a costly wrong decision towards the end of the race.
The Championship lead has changed hands four times in the last six races, with Max Verstappen emerging as the front-runner after Red Bull’s double podium in Turkey.
Despite his best efforts, Hamilton was unable to find his way to the podium. After qualifying fastest, an engine penalty saw him start from P11.
Hamilton recovered to finish in P5, but he was not hiding his frustrations following his pit-stop eight laps from the end of the race which ended up costing him two places.
“F**k, why’d you give up that space? We shouldn’t have come in. Massive graining man. I told you!” Hamilton seethed over the team radio.
After the race, Hamilton stated that he felt as though he “should have stayed out.”
“My gut feeling was to stay out and I feel that’s what I should have done. So I’m frustrated in myself for not following my gut. But I work as a team, so I did the best I could with the advice I was getting.” Hamilton explained.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he supported the team’s call, stating that it was Hamilton’s delay in pitting which cost him a chance of a podium.
Wolff justified the call, describing it as a measured response.
The Austrian added that Hamilton “didn‘t see how much he was dropping off. It was clear that had he stayed out then he would have lost out to Gasly.”
Meanwhile, spirits were high in the Red Bull camp after they scored a double podium.
Verstappen stated that the track “was very greasy” and described the race as “not easy.”
Despite his struggles, the Dutch ace was happy with the “good result”.
“I think we managed to maximise the result – Valtteri was of course a bit faster – but I think this whole weekend we were a bit behind in pace compared to Mercedes, and this race was all about just managing the tyres to a certain lap,” Verstappen said.
“I wish I had a bit more pace in the car so it would have been a bit more easier but we are in the fight and we keep fighting, and we’ll see in the coming races how competitive we are going to be,” he added.
With just six points now separating Hamilton and Verstappen, strap on your seatbelts because the last six races of the season are bound to be full on.