Lewis Hamilton unleashed an expletive-laden rant at his Mercedes team after seeing his chances of winning his first Grand Prix of the season wrecked by a questionable strategy call.
Hamilton was well-placed to win the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort after what looked to be an inspired strategy of running long on the medium tyres from the start and then switching to hards for a one-stop strategy.
However, a virtually safety car (VSC), triggered when Yuki Tsunoda, of Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, stopped on track and a full safety car, needed when Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas ground to a halt on the pit straight, jumbled up every team’s strategy.
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Max Verstappen switched to soft tyres, as did George Russell, which crucially saw the Mercedes drop behind the Red Bull. Russell had previously been running between leader Hamilton and Verstappen.
On the restart after the full safety car, Verstappen easily overtook Hamilton, who had switched to mediums during the VSC but stayed out during the full safety car.
It could be argued Mercedes should have either kept Russell out as a buffer between Hamilton and Verstappen, or brought Hamilton in for the fastest soft tyres.
Did Mercedes make the wrong call? Have your say in the comments section below.
Either way, the seven-time world champion was left fuming by his team’s handling of the race.
"That was the biggest **** up,” he fumed over team radio before another rant soon after: "I can't believe you guys **** **** me, can't you how **** I am."
Having been left on the slower tyres, Hamilton was overtaken by Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and came home fourth as Verstappen took victory to the delight of his home fans.
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