The delayed pit stop damaged Hamilton’s hopes.

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Istanbul:

The surgical mask hid the gritted teeth, but Lewis Hamilton’s voice had no reason to be disappointed when he was forced to finish fifth in the Turkish Grand Prix after a late pitching.

The seven-time world champion was driving third in his Mercedes but was called to eight laps from the end to change his tires, taking two places and a championship lead.

At the start of the race, he gave the Red Bulls a two-point lead over Max Verstapen, but by the time they crossed the finish line, it was the Dutchman, in second place, back and forth, with six points from six races. Forward .

Mercedes argued that Hamilton’s tires were badly worn on the wet track and he struggled to finish the race, leaving the challenge of Ferrari to Verstappen’s teammates Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.

The champion, whose teammate Voltaire Bottas won the race, was unsure, noting that Alpine’s Esteban Okun completed the race on a set of tires.

“The tires are bald so you don’t know how far they’re going so there’s definitely a concern for the life of the tires,” said Hamilton, who started in the 11th after a 10th-engine grid penalty.

“But also that I wasn’t that fast in the end. I was struggling, the grip was low. Not sure why.

“Then all of a sudden I didn’t have that bad speed but I was losing performance to the people behind me.”

Hamilton resisted calls to come first.

“In the background, I should have either stayed out or come earlier.

“When you come up with eight laps, you don’t have time to go through that middle tire rash on the drying track. So I went through this sliding stage where I almost lost more positions.”

In the end, Hamilton, who was furious with his team on the radio, had to use all his experience to stop Alpha Tory’s Pierre Gasley from being charged.

“It’s very disappointing, but that’s it. It’s nice to be third. If I can just hold it back, it’s a good 11th result.”

“It’s worse, but it could be (even) worse.”

Mercedes principal Tutu Wolf described the disagreement at home as a “flight debate” but insisted the team’s orders were correct.

“He (Hamilton) didn’t see how much he was falling in the lap time and he (Charles) didn’t see Leclerc falling,” he said.

“It was clear that if he had stayed out, he would have lost to Gasley anyway.

“The right call might be very conservative and annoying when everyone stands for intermediate but it lags behind after the race.

“The point is, in the last race, the Red Bulls were happy to lose seven points from just one grid penalty and today we lost eight points.

“So this is not the end of the world. The point is, we could probably get three, four, five points more.”

“Overall, that’s fine. It’s an open part of the championship.”





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