- Lewis Hamilton shouted “I told you!” after his team cost him a place on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix.
- The reigning world champion was in third when his team told him to pit and change for new tires.
- Hamilton ended the race in fifth, meaning Max Verstappen took the championship lead.
Lewis Hamilton shouted angrily over the radio after a team decision to pit for new tires cost him a podium at the Turkish Grand Prix.
The reigning Formula One world champion was heard on team radio raising his voice at his race engineer Peter Bonnington after losing two places and crucial points having pitted late in the race.
Rain had been falling on the track throughout the day, leading to all drivers starting the race on intermediate tires made for partially wet conditions.
Towards the end of the race and with other drivers pitting for fresh tires, Hamilton was told by his team to do the same, but disagreed and stayed out on track, saying his tires still had life in them.
Not wanting to sacrifice his track position of third, Hamilton continued to the 51st lap of the 58-lap race before eventually following team orders and coming into the pits.
He seemed to have wanted to stay out for the full length of the race, a strategy his team did not agree with.
When his race engineer told him, Hamilton shouted back “Shit man, why did you give up that space?”
He was later heard saying: “We shouldn’t have come in. I told you!”
Hamilton would go on to finish fifth while his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, won his first race of the season.
Even worse for Hamilton was that his championship rival, Max Verstappen, finished in second and retook the lead in the driver’s championship.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton’s team boss Toto Wolff said the Brit did not see how much his speed was dropping and that the correct decision would have been to pit earlier in the race.
“The correct call would probably have been taking it very conservative and pitting when everybody else pitted for the inters, coming out behind Perez and Leclerc and fighting with them for P3,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
“That was probably correct, but that is only with hindsight.”
The Mercedes team boss said they also wanted to avoid the “catastrophic” situation of not finishing the race.
“DNFing and losing all the points, that’s obviously catastrophic. We would have been caught up by Leclerc and Perez anyway if we had tried to stay out, so that wouldn’t have worked.”
Verstappen hopes upcoming races will suit Red Bull
Despite Hamilton’s struggles, Verstappen never looked likely to catch up with race leader Bottas. The Dutchman said his team “just didn’t get it together.”
“They were definitely quicker this weekend, we just didn’t get it together,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
“On the wet they also seemed to have the edge. Even with the points lead, it’s not going to be easy.
“We’ve had a really good year, so it’s not going to change the world for me if we finish first or second at the end of the year.
“We won’t give up, we will always try to do the best we can.”