Lewis Hamilton complains about Mercedes when he was catching Russell
Lewis Hamilton was angry at Mercedes for pitting him against him during the closing stages of the Brazilian Grand Prix as he closed in on leader George Russell. The Mercedes pair was dominating in Sao Paulo, but Hamilton was pitted.
The Briton was given newer soft tyres, but could not understand why he was told to box when his pace was still very strong. “My tires are good, my tires are good!” he yelled he over the radio.
When Hamilton returned to the track he started in third place with Sergio Pérez hot on his heels. Ferrari ace Carlos Sainz moved up to second. “Why?” Hamilton questioned as he tried to make up ground. “Undercut, the soft tire is faster,” explained his engineers.
Early in the race, Hamilton collided with Max Verstappen while defending a move by the Red Bull star. Both drivers blamed each other over the team radio, but the FIA sided with Mercedes and handed Verstappen a five-second penalty.
Verstappen was forced to pit for a new front wing after the crash and fell to the bottom of the pack. Meanwhile, Hamilton went on to challenge Russell for the win.
Before the race, Russell predicted that there would be no team orders between him and Hamilton.
“There will definitely be no team orders,” said the 24-year-old. “But between the two of us, we’ll definitely be strategic in trying to get that win for the team.”
“As we saw in Mexico, we both did the same strategy and ultimately it affected both of us. Sitting here right now, we probably don’t know what the right strategy is going to be. We will compete fairly for sure.” .
“I’m sure we’ll probably split strategies to try to cover all the options and hopefully one of us will come out happy. We both recognize from recent experience that we’ll probably have to go our separate ways.” “
And Russell’s prediction came true when a late safety car pulled the field together, leaving him and Hamilton in the top two positions. The former Williams man asked if there would be any team order to secure the one-two.
“So what are we doing? Are we competing or are we securing the one-two?” Russell questioned.
“You’re racing, but be respectful,” his engineer replied.
Martin Brundle was surprised by the decision, commenting: “I think George Russell may have been quite surprised to get that message. They’ve got a one-two in the bag. So basically they’ve got their visor down now.”
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