Lewis Hamilton has hit back at suggestions that he was “furious” with his Mercedes team for their tactics during the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished fifth in Istanbul, three places behind title rival Max Verstappen, who is now six points ahead in the World Championship standings.
One of the main talking points of the race came towards the end as Hamilton continued to stay out on worn tyres even as the rest of the field pitted in changing conditions.
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Hamilton ignored calls from his team to pit until eventually deciding to do so on lap 51 of 58.
When Hamilton rejoined the track behind Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc he told Mercedes that he should not have pitted. However, he has taken to social media to say what happened was in the heat of the moment and everything within the team is fine.
“I’ve seen some of the press this morning which has made a bit too much of the incident in yesterday’s race of when to pit,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram.
“It isn’t true to say I’m furious with my team. As a team we work hard to build the best strategy possible but as the race progresses you have to make split decisions, there are so many factors constantly changing.
“Yesterday we took the risk to stay out hoping it would dry, it didn’t. I wanted to risk it and try and go to the end, but it was my call to stay out and it didn’t work. In the end we did pit and it was the safest thing to do. We live and we learn. We win and we lose as a team.
“Don’t ever expect me to be all polite and calm on the radio when I’m racing, we are all very passionate and in the heat of the moment that passion can come out, and it does for all drivers.
My heart and spirit are out there on the track, it’s the fire in me that’s got me this far but my angst is quickly forgotten and we talked it through, already looking ahead to the next race.
“Today’s another day to rise and as a team.”
Had Hamilton been able to hold onto third place, which he occupied before the pit stop, he would have been only a point behind Verstappen in the standings.
Instead he will head to Austin, Texas in a fortnight with more ground to make up in a fascinating title race.
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