Mercedes has "thick skin" to handle Hamilton's F1 radio frustration

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ pitwall has “thick enough skin” to understand Lewis Hamilton’s radio frustrations over his pit strategy during Sunday’s Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix.

Mercedes has "thick skin" to handle Hamilton's F1 radio frustration

After topping qualifying, Hamilton started the race from 11th on the grid due to an engine penalty, but had recovered to third place with 10 laps to go in the race.

Mercedes had asked Hamilton to pit for a fresh set of intermediates much earlier when cars around him were coming in, only for the Briton to request he stay out, believing his tyres were still working fine.

Mercedes looked set to keep Hamilton out all the way to the end of the race on his starting set of intermediates, but opted to cut its losses and pit him with eight laps to go as his times dropped off.

It dropped Hamilton back to fifth place, sparking frustration from the seven-time world champion as he asked “why did you give up that space?” over the radio, later adding: “We shouldn’t have come in.”

Hamilton told race engineer Pete Bonnington to “leave me alone” when updated on the gap to Pierre Gasly behind as he struggled with graining.

He held on to finish the race fifth, leaving him six points behind title rival Max Verstappen at the top of the championship.

Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said the team had “no problem at all with tough conversations on the radio”.

“Obviously we wouldn’t speak like this to Lewis, because he’s driving a car at 320 km/h,” Wolff said.

“But that’s all OK, absolutely. We are totally aligned, we’ve been in this together eight years.

“We have thick enough skin to understand that a driver in the car is frustrated about the situation, that he will understand afterwards.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, in the pits

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, in the pits

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

It was the second race in a row Hamilton had questioned Mercedes’ strategy calls over team radio.

He initially ignored a call to pit in Russia before following the team’s call to pit for intermediates one lap later, a move he later called a “genius stroke”, according to Wolff.

Read Also:

“I think we just need to work on the communication to trust each other, and in a way be able to describe what we are aiming for,” Wolff added.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the pitwall “wouldn’t really expect anything other than frustration” over finishing fifth, but was confident Hamilton understood the decision after a post-race debrief.

"He understands the reasons,” Shovlin said.

“I think it’s just the frustration from him that at times in that race, he thought he was going to be on the podium, and that didn’t come true.

“There’s a bit of disappointment in that. But if we look at how we operated, it was sensible and in a championship battle, there’s a point where you’ve got to stop taking risks and you’ve got to cut your losses.

“Although those decisions are difficult to do, you’ve got to be strong and you’ve got to take them.”

shares
comments

Related video

Adelaide Grand Prix track could be ripped up

Previous article

Adelaide Grand Prix track could be ripped up

Next article

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021