Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2021

Hamilton’s radio frustration was to be expected – Mercedes

2021 Turkish Grand Prix

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Mercedes had no problem with Lewis Hamilton’s reaction to their strategy during the Turkish Grand Prix, which the driver denied had been “furious”.

Hamilton complained about the team’s decision to bring him in for a pit stop with eight laps to go, as he wanted to risk staying out on his worn original set of tyres in the hope of achieving a higher finishing position.

“Shit man, why’d you give up that space?” he exclaimed to race engineer Peter Bonnington soon after his pit stop. “Got massive graining, man. I told you,” he added. When he was warned a rival was closing on him Hamilton said “leave it alone, man” and spoke no more on the radio for the rest of the race.

The head’s head of trackside operations Andrew Shovlin said Hamilton’s frustration at falling from third on the track to fifth so close to the end was understandable.

“Lewis is always looking at what’s ahead of him, what’s the most he can get,” he said. “He’s deeply invested in this championship, and we wouldn’t really expect anything other than frustration at a P5 where at one point we thought we might be able to hang on.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Istanbul Park, 2021
Radio transcript: How Hamilton’s plan to delay his pit stop backfired
Hamilton’s comments on the radio was “just the the kind of 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, I think there’s a bit of disappointment in that.”

Yesterday Hamilton dismissed criticism of his reaction in a social media post. “I’ve seen some of the press this morning which has made a bit too much of the incident in yesterday’s race of when to pit,” he wrote. “It isn’t true to say I’m furious with my team.”

He admitted that making the late pit stop had been “the safest thing to do” under the circumstances, but defended his conduct on the radio. “Don’t ever expect me to be all polite and calm on the radio when I’m racing,” he wrote, “we are all very passionate and in the heat of the moment that passion can come out, as it does for all drivers.”

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“My heart and spirit are out there on the track, it’s the fire in me that’s got me this far but any angst is quickly forgotten and we talked it through, already looking ahead to the next race.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff pointed out following the previous race in Russia Hamilton had praised the team for overruling his call not to pit during a late rain shower, which won him the race.

“We had what Lewis called the ‘genius stroke’ in terms of strategy last time around,” said Wolff. “I think we just need to really work on the communication to trust each other and in a way be able to describe what we’re aiming for.”

He insisted the team “have no problem at all with tough conversations on the radio before you have complete information. And obviously, we wouldn’t speak like this to Lewis because he’s driving a car at 320 kilometres an hour.

“But that’s all okay, absolutely we are totally aligned, we’ve been in this together eight years and we have thick skin enough to understand that a driver in the car is frustrated about a situation that he will understand afterwards.”

Hamilton’s radio messages after his pit stop

LapVoiceMessage
51HamiltonShit man, why’d you give up that space?
51BonningtonIt looks like we were going to lose the position anyway. That’s just six seconds ahead to Perez and Leclerc.
51BonningtonSo 34.6. Fastest lap is a 31.9.
52BonningtonWe think this’ll be a good lap for fastest lap so you can take strat five if you need it.
53HamiltonWhat position am I in, man?
53BonningtonCurrently P5. Leclerc was a 36.0 last lap.
53HamiltonWe shouldn’t have come in, man.
53HamiltonGot massive graining, man. I told you.
54BonningtonOkay copy, Lewis. We were losing time to Perez but we’ll chat about it later. Got Gasly car behind 1.7.
54BonningtonGasly at one second.
54HamiltonLeave it alone, man.
58BonningtonOkay Lewis so one more lap, it’ll be strat mode five.
59BonningtonSo that’s P5. Sorry about that but we’ll have a chat to you, talk you through the call. Strat mode one please.

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20 comments on “Hamilton’s radio frustration was to be expected – Mercedes”

  1. Clearly emotionally quite stressful to be fighting for the WDC.
    Didn’t expect it to impact Lewis that much though; he seemed much more level headed in 2016.

    1. LOL!! You are joking of course. Wasn’t it around this time, he thought the team was running a conspiracy against him when it came to engines.

      1. 2016 …

        The year Mercedes decided to swap the garages so the crew loyal to Rosberg were working for Hamilton, whilst the crew use to winning were working for Rosberg. The year Hamilton suffered his worst DNF’s since joining Mercedes. I wont mention Singapore, and its effects on a championship which came down to a handfull of points.

        Makes you wonder why Rosberg quit F1 immediately upon securing that illusive Championship. Just think, were it not for all those factor, Lewis would already be 8 times champion, chasing his 9th.

        Now we have this close run championship, seemingly for the entertainment and health of the sport. The precursor of which had the rules changed to bar the advantages of a party mode, the qualifying mode, engine development, and affect the balance of the car. This not to say other team wont still be exploiting the advantages of the qualifying mode, or continuing to develop their engine’s power units – subject to FIA interpretation.

        Maybe Hamilton’s 8th championship should be fittingly more competitive, or maybe all these changes these are suppose to put a hault to his reshaping of history… Meantime there’s the convergence of stats linking Verstappen to Hamilton. Age when they started in f1, their age when they first won an F1 race, a convergence of fortunes to culminate on when Verstappen is ‘suppose’ to win his first Championship….

        1. btw it was Malaysia where Hamilton DNF — not Singapore [the race before] where He also suffered mechanical issues.

  2. Its not the drivers championship thats putting him under pressure. Its just the moment in d race at that time. Where he had to now drive “beyond” the car to maintain his 5th position. Because he had a fast approaching Gasley. Amd his tyres had ro go thru the graining stage which slowed him down alot. But he managed it.

  3. People find it funny when people like Raikkonen get angry on the radio and not much thought is given to it. Many drivers complain over the radio, just we don’t hear it as often as they are not fighting at the front.

    Lewis gets way to much criticism for this vs other drivers in the field.

    1. and what he says ain’t as half bad as what others have said

    2. Can you quantify that or is it just one of those “I feel that” moments. People will be people, social media has always been a brutal place. When you react like this, you are basically feeding the trolls. Lewis fans are now claiming people criticizing Lewis as racism in twitter now. Kimi’s radio calls are funny because thats a meme, just like “bono my tyres are gone” is a meme. Dont take internet seriously or you’d end up taking therapy.

      Reply moderated
    3. Agreed. Almost makes you wonder why they get triggered by Lewis having a discussion with his team and voicing his opinion at having just lost vital championship points, and Kimi giving it full bore, both barrelled rage for him getting wet feet

      G

  4. Just did some number crunching, on average Hamilton was 0.421 seconds a lap slower than Perez between laps 40-49 meaning he would have finished 3rd if he’d stayed out AND the tyres didn’t deteriorate further.

    1. .. which they would as the team has already pointed out @davidjwest

      Reply moderated
      1. True, but how much?

        At 4 tenths a lap there would be a margin of some 7 seconds to play with.

    2. Absolutely, it was well worth a shot, and hamilton is good at management, so saying ocon’s dropped off is not a good excuse to box.

  5. I love these radio messages. I even loved Vettels’ aimed at Whiting. I think they can say whatever they want.

    I hate the ‘he pushed me off’ though. Those are only for the court case at the stewards…

    1. well if you refer to the perez push that was worth a penalty.. but happy ending.

      1. I mean it is the default radio message for when someone goes of the track and there was a car nearby. Even if Perez actually had a point there, he shouldn’t have to radio in his message. I can’t think of any incident ever where someone left the track and the stewards are wondering why on earth it happened, it suddenly is all clear because someone radioed in “he pushed me off”.

  6. I don’t have any problem with Lewis’ frustration over the radio. He is right. They were racing and he is an emotional competitor. I think the frustration could have been mitigated though if Mercedes had been more clear on the radio with him so he fully understood the situation. Jenson Button called it immediately when he heard the radio communications that he didn’t think Lewis knew what Mercedes and everyone watching the race knew. It’s a similar situation to Lando in Sochi. The team had information that the driver did not have, they didn’t convey that to the driver and as a result, there were animated messages from the driver to the team as a result. Hopefully, Mercedes can take a page out of McLaren’s book from last week where the radio communication was much more clear with Lando and they seemed to be much more on the same page.

  7. He arrogantly said “I told so” to his team when he was deadly wrong. This speaks volumes about his race reading abilities. His usual self is being an extremely fast driver, versatile in executing very different strategies, but whenever it’s needed he does have a tough time in the task of elaborating them.

    Reply moderated
    1. “This speaks volumes about his race reading abilities.”

      Like his race-reading abilities at the very same GrandPrix last year?

    2. I know I mean, he is just so bad at race reading it’s ridiculous.

      I mean that time took hyper soft in Austria further than ever before the team helping his mate screwed it up or that time in Monaco he went from wets to slicks in one hit and won the race or even last year where he won from nowhere?

      You just can’t trust him frankly, I mean just a 100 wins in every kind of condition going in multiple cars under multiple regulations in multiple conditions, winning more wet and wet dry races than anyone in history…

      It’s an absolute crime frankly that his team even bother employing him.

      Much better to choose, say, Albion, Mazapin or Bottas and guarantee more wins…

      For goodness sake – get real.

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