Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Lewis Hamilton has been urged to show “respect” to his Mercedes team as the fall-out from Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix continues. The reigning world champion had worked his way from 11th on the grid to be third with just eight laps to go, and was adamant he was able to finish the race on the same tyres with which he started.
Fearing that the 36-year-old would not make it to the end of the race however, his team took the cautious option and ordered him into the pits. Hamilton rejoined proceedings in fifth, a position which he maintained until he crossed the finish line after making no impression on fourth-placed Charles Leclerc in the closing laps.
Hamilton vented his fury over team radio, saying: “We shouldn’t have come in. Massive graining man. I told you.”
He was then further aggrieved after discovering that Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had lasted all 58 laps on his starting set of intermediate tyres.
However, Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle defended the Mercedes team, and said it was Hamilton who ‘made a mistake’ by trying to take tactical matters into his own hands.
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“I think yesterday was a mistake on Lewis’ part,” said Brundle on Sky Sports News.
“We have seen him overrule the team in the past and it’s worked out very well – for example in Turkey last year when he ran right through to the end and it was a glorious victory.
“But yesterday, I think all Mercedes had to do was mimic to an extent what Red Bull were doing, try to minimise the pain of him taking a new engine and grid penalty to go with that.
“I think Lewis put his team off-balance and it was a bit of a no-mans stop in the end.”
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Had Hamilton finished third, he would be heading to the American Grand Prix in Austin later this month just one point off new championship leader Max Verstappen. Instead, he trails the Red Bull driver by six but despite his frustration, Brundle said that “wasn’t the ened of the world” for the seven-time world champion.
“You have to respect Lewis’ seven titles and his gut feeling out on the track,” he continued.
“But at the same he has to respect that his team have got a copious amount of information, they’re watching the entire race, all of the other cars and when they called him in, he kind of put them out of their stride.
“He had to stop, I’m pretty sure. If we look at Esteban Ocon’s tyres in the Alpine, it was down to the canvas. Common sense tells you it probably wouldn’t have worked out but Lewis felt he wanted to do that.
“It’s not the end of the world. Obviously he was tantalisingly close to third place and he felt that would really have been a great day out.”
Like many F1 fans, however, Brundle is excited about the prospect of the title race going to the wire: “This incredible season is turning on a fastest lap here or maybe a sprint race victory or a bit of luck or a bit of reliability. It’s really so, so close.
“Red Bull will be concerned at the raw pace of the Mercedes over the weekend, Valtteri Bottas was outstanding in every respect and he will be in there helping Lewis as well for the world championship.
“We’re in for an amazing finish to this season.”
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