Mercedes sure 'scary' Hamilton tyres wouldn't do full Turkish GP distance

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it was "clear" Lewis Hamilton's "scary" tyres wouldn't have done the full Turkish Grand Prix distance.

With the race starting in pretty wet conditions at Istanbul Park, it wasn't long until the worst of the water was cleared and a drier line appeared around much of the circuit.

However, an actual dry line never properly materialised, meaning Hamilton and several other drivers considered doing the full 58 laps on just one set of intermediates that had effectively been worn down to slicks.

“The intermediate obviously looked really scary, but we thought that we could maybe hang out there and finish third with not stopping, or if a dry line appears, maybe going on to a soft tyre until the end,” Wolff explained to Sky Sports.

“So we balanced between pitting and taking it very conservatively, fighting with [Charles] Leclerc and [Sergio] Perez on the track for P3, or taking a little bit of a gamble and either winning or finishing third.

“But then we saw Leclerc dropping off and Lewis started dropping off and it was clear that we wouldn’t make it to the end.”

Initially, Hamilton was reluctant to follow Mercedes' call to pit before doing so with eight laps to go, however, that would drop him to his eventual finishing position of fifth to his apparent surprise.

In fact, the seven-time world champion may have been lucky not to finish lower as graining on the new tyres put Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris on his tail for the final laps.

Despite the disharmony, which had Wolff suggesting Hamilton need to work on trusting the team regarding strategy calls, the Briton has insisted he was not "furious" with Mercedes.

“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,” he 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."