A furious Lewis Hamilton has pointed the finger at his Mercedes team after surrendering the championship lead to Max Verstappen after finishing fifth at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was on course to finish third with the same rubber he started the race on, before Mercedes' safety-first approach put him on new tyres in the closing stages.
Hamilton questioned the decision to stop and snapped “leave me alone” when race engineer Peter Bonnington informed him of the gap to Pierre Gasly in sixth. “S---, man, why did you give up that place? We shouldn’t have come in man” he added.
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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on October 10, 2021 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Image credit: Getty Images

Had the Brit been able to hold onto third place, he would have been only a point behind Verstappen. As it stands, he is now six points adrift.
When asked about the decision to pit his Hamilton said “The tyres are bald, so you don’t know how far they are going to go.
I was losing performance to the guys behind. In hindsight, I should have stayed out or pitted a lot earlier.
“It could be worse.”
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