Hamilton questions Mercedes team after they left tyre decision to him

‘That’s what YOUR job is’: Lewis Hamilton takes a swipe at his Mercedes team after they left tyre choice up to him in Miami Grand Prix… as seven-time world champion’s frustrating season continues with sixth-placed finish

  • Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on Sunday
  • His Mercedes race engineer left an important strategic decision down to him
  • The 37-year-old opted not to take on new tyres while behind a safety car late on
  • Team-mate George Russell did switch tyres and went on to overtake Hamilton
  • The seven-time champion has questioned his team for not making the call 

Lewis Hamilton said he did not understand why Mercedes wanted him to make a strategic decision in Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington asked his driver whether he wished to take on new tyres while behind a safety car late in the race. 

The seven-time world champion elected to stay out, while George Russell, who started 12th, took advantage of the period to make his sole tyre switch.

Lewis Hamilton’s disappointing season continued as he finished sixth in the Miami Grand Prix

Russell was able to fight his way past Hamilton to finish one place ahead of his team-mate in fifth.

‘In that scenario, I have no clue where everyone is, so when the team say ‘it is your choice’, I don’t have the information to make the decision,’ said Hamilton.

‘That’s what your job is. Make the decision for me as you have all the details and I don’t. I rely on the guys for that, but today they gave the decision to me and I didn’t understand it.

The 37-year-old questioned why his team left the decision to change tyres or not down to him

George Russell did change his tyres and then overtook Hamilton to finish fifth in the race

‘When you are given that responsibility it feels like gambling and I don’t like that. It was just a bit unfortunate.’

Russell and Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel for the first time as Mercedes team-mates. Russell was instructed to give Hamilton back the place after an illegal off-track move before getting his man on the following lap.

Hamilton said: ‘George was on the best tyre to start with, and in hindsight maybe I could have started on the hard tyre. But he did a great job to recover from his starting position.

It was the first time that Hamilton and Russell went wheel-to-wheel as Mercedes team-mates

‘He was fair and had fresh tyres so I was a bit of a sitting duck. I am waiting for a change in fortune, but until then I will keep working as hard as I can.’

Russell, who has amassed 23 more points more than Hamilton after five races, said: ‘Obviously you leave a bit more room when you’re battling with your team-mate than you ordinarily would do.

‘I was told I had to swap positions back and that was a little bit frustrating as I was catching the guys ahead. Fortunately we all came home in one piece.’

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