Jenson Button disagrees with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff over Lewis Hamilton tyre row

Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him

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Lewis Hamilton’s refusal to pit earlier in the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday led to his downfall as the Brit only mustered fifth in treacherous conditions in Istanbul.

Having started 11th after a 10-place grid penalty, Hamilton still clambered up the grid to record a respectable finish, but it could have been much better had he listened to his team’s advice.

After ignoring the call to pit, Hamilton ended up taking a brave decision to listen to his team with just seven laps left, angrily berating them afterwards on the team radio after it cost him a chance of a podium finish.

And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff let his thoughts be known following the incident.

Wolff told Sky Sports F1: “The correct call would have probably been taking it very conservative and pitting when everybody else pitted for the intermediate, coming out behind [Sergio] Perez and probably behind Leclerc and fighting with them on track for P3.

“It’s quite interesting because the intermediate obviously looked really scary but we thought that we could maybe hang out there, and finish third without stopping.

“Or if a dry line appears maybe even going on to a soft tyre until the end, so that we balance between pitting and taking it very conservative, fighting with Leclerc and Perez on the track for P3 or taking a little bit of a gamble and either winning or finishing third.

However, Hamilton’s former team-mate and the 2009 world champion Jenson Button has defended Hamilton and suggested Mercedes should’ve provided him with more information about the late stop.

“It’s a really tricky one,” he said.

“I’m sure Lewis was quite frustrated after the race. They’ve talked him through the process of when he should’ve pitted, he pitted right in the middle of where he shouldn’t have pitted.

“If he pitted earlier, it would’ve been a good call, or if he didn’t pit at all and the tyres lasted until the end it would’ve been a good call. It was right in the middle and it was the area you don’t want to be in.

“I think the bigger thing for me is the information. I don’t think Lewis understood he was going to lose two positions with the pitstop. He seemed quite happy when they said pit, he was like ‘ah, okay.’

“It just didn’t seem like he knew he was going to lose a couple of places because then afterwards he got quite frustrated knowing he was in fifth place behind two cars he didn’t expect to be.”

Hamilton famously kept his tyres on in the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, and it paid dividends as he won the race.

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And Button acknowledged that race last season, one which helped Hamilton to the title.

He continued: “He’s also probably thinking back to last year. He stayed out on a tyre for a very long time and it worked for him. But it’s not always going to work for you.

“He’s made it work before. The car had a lot of downforce on it around here and he was able to work the tyres better than anyone. It might’ve worked.”

Hamilton has the chance to redeem himself in two weeks’ time at the US Grand Prix in Austin, where he can close the six-point gap Verstappen has built.

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