Lewis Hamilton says he has full faith in his strategy team after a call that saw him drop from first place to fourth on the final lap of the Dutch Grand Prix.
A frustrated Hamilton said on the radio that the team had “difficulted” the race as he exited the podium following a late safety car restart. He later apologized to the group for his comments.
Hamilton “100%” believes that Mercedes has “the right team” on the pit wall. “We’ve got a very determined group of young people. Some have been here as long as I have, and in the group much longer, they continue to inspire each year. I believe we have the right team 1,000%.
The team’s race hinged on a decision to pit on soft tires during the safety car. Race leader Max Verstappen took advantage by dropping behind Hamilton, while George Russell did the same on the following lap. Hamilton stayed on the middle ground, but quickly passed by the pair and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
The decision to relinquish the lead and exit the race “wasn’t an easy call,” Hamilton said. “Of course, we can always look back and say that we all could have made different choices in certain circumstances. But that’s not life.”
“We will learn from it and move on. I was hoping to get a platform. I was hoping to get at least first or second, but let’s move on.”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team had “the absolute best guys” on the pit wall and backed a gamble by splitting tactics between Hamilton and Russell in an attempt to win the race.
“When you make decisions, you’re always vulnerable and they come back because you’re not 100% in the race. Things can go wrong, and you even have a late safety car, an accident or whatever.
“So strategically, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to make the decision. And as we discussed this morning, they are in danger of winning the competition.
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2022 Dutch Grand Prix
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