Lewis Hamilton was labelled a “class act” by Nico Rosberg after the Dutch Grand Prix despite losing his cool during the race and aiming an expletive-ridden radio message at his team. Hamilton felt during the race in Zandvoort that Mercedes had squandered a chance to claim their first win of a tough season.
The Silver Arrows made the call to pit George Russell for fresh tyres on lap 58 of 72 which saw Max Verstappen move up to second, freeing him to attack Hamilton at the safety car restart. That’s exactly what the Dutchman did and the Red Bull was already past the Mercedes by the first corner.
Russell and Charles Leclerc also passed Hamilton, who said on the Mercedes radio: “That was the biggest f*** up. I can’t believe you guys f****d me, can’t tell you how p****d I am.” Verstappen and Russell both argued afterwards that the Drivers’ Championship leader would have passed both Mercedes even had the Briton have stayed out on older tyres.
At the end of the race, Hamilton said on the radio after receiving an apology from team boss Toto Wolff: “To all the mechanics, fantastic job today, the best pitstops we’ve had all year so thank you. Thank you for your continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing, we still got points today.”
DON’T MISS: Wolff on private chat with Lewis Hamilton after Dutch GP nightmare
And Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, praised his former Mercedes team-mate on Sky Sports F1 for regaining his composure. He said: “It was a really horrible experience for Lewis so it’s totally understandable that he gets frustrated like crazy on the radio. Totally understandable.
“Already after the race he was starting to compliment the mechanics again so he found his composure again which is a class act. I think he’ll still get a bit heated in the cooldown room one more time, I think he’ll be hitting the table a little bit there.”
Rosberg added: “The most important thing for me is that, OK, if you do decide to take a risk to go for the win as they wanted to do by keeping Lewis out on the medium – do it properly. You have to leave the wingman there in George right behind because it’s going to increase the chances so much for Lewis to get that win, holding back Max.
Hamilton slams Mercedes in expletive-ridden Dutch GP radio message
Lewis Hamilton felt he was pushed to ‘breaking point’ by Mercedes
Hamilton receives Wolff apology as Mercedes mistake costs Dutch GP win
“The way they did it was taking a risk that was never really going to work because Max was just way too quick from the get-go on the softs. That’s the thing that I think they didn’t get quite right. It’s difficult to decide in that moment, of course.
“If you do make that decision, George is not going to win definitely by pitting anyways. That’s clear because he drops behind Max. Leave George out there as well to block Max and give Lewis an even better chance to win. It was double horrible [for Hamilton].
“For one he gets past and loses the win, then his team-mate comes flying past which is really, really not a nice feeling. Trust me on that one – that really sucks! Especially when you’ve been dominating your team-mate the whole weekend. It was one thing to the next.”
Hamilton was far calmer in his post-race interview with Sky Sports and said: “I was just on the edge of breaking point with emotions. My apologies to the team because I don’t even remember what I said, I just lost it for a second. I think they knew it was just from so much passion.”