Lewis Hamilton initially ignored orders from his team to pit late in the Turkish Grand Prix and then fumed over the team radio when he dropped two positions after stopping for new tyres. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff backed his engineers over the debatable call, which cost vital points in the tightly-contested title fight with Max Verstappen/
Hamilton was unhappy when he surrendered third place and crossed the chequered flag in fifth.
He has since posted a statement on Instagram explaining that his passion spilt over in the heat of the moment.
“Good morning world! 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.
“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 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, as 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 any angst is quickly forgotten and we talked it through, already looking ahead to the nexrt race.
“Today’s another day to rise as a team. Still we rise.”
Hamilton was first told to come in for next tyres on lap 42 but he requested to stay out and race engineer Peter Bonnington agreed to more thinking time.
The seven-time world champion spent another eight laps on the same tyres before coming into the pit.
When Hamilton returned to the track he was told that Pierre Gasly was hot on his tail.
“F***, man, why did you give up that space?” he shouted over the radio.
Hamilton added: “We shouldn’t have come in, man. We have got massive graining (on the new tyres). I told you!”
When the race had ended Hamilton instructed his team to “leave me alone” with another enraged message.
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