Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the Dutch Grand Prix and slammed his team for a failed strategy. Meanwhile, George Russell asked to change tires under Safety Car and finished second, behind the home favorite, Max Verstappen.
The Dutch driver started the Dutch Grand Prix on pole. But twenty laps later, Lewis Hamilton, on hards, was in the lead.
Hamilton entered the pits to take on a new set of hard tires, before going back on the racetrack into the 5th, behind Sergio Perez. Russell was on a whole different strategy, wearing the softs, but moving onto hards. George was 7 seconds behind his teammate, Lewis.
On lap 36, Hamilton tried to get rid of Sergio Perez, but that was not the easiest of missions and the Red Bull driver showed great defensive skills, somehow helped by Sebastian Vettel. One lap behind, the Aston Martin veteran, on the verge of retiring from Formula 1, made Lewis lose important time. He tried to recover with a fastest lap time. Overtaking Perez was easier for Russell, who tried to keep up with his teammate.
Yuki Tsunoda parked his car right next to the racetrack. “Tires not fitted”, he screamed into the radio. But he eventually started again and there was no need for the Safety Car to be deployed.
Charles Leclerc went into the pits and Lewis Hamilton passed on to the second potion, 14 seconds behind Max Verstappen, who had to pit soon, too.
Lap 49 brought the Virtual Safety Car because Yuki Tsunoda’s car needed to be evacuated. It was the first car to retire in this race. Hamilton went onto mediums and so did George Russell. “Let’s go, guys!!”, Hamilton said to his team. He was 12-seconds and a half behind Max Verstappen.
Valtteri Bottas’ car failed him on the straight on Lap 57, right in front of the pits and there were yellow flags on the 1st and 3rd sectors, but the Safety Car is nowhere in sight, despite the hazardous position. Verstappen put on the softs, while Lewis Hamilton remained on the racetrack with the mediums, which he was to keep all the way to the end. Hamilton was right behind the Safety Car, finally deployed. But Russell made a smart move and asked to put the softs on. He was now behind Verstappen. “It’s going to be hard to keep that car behind, guys”, Hamilton warned.
And he was right. Safety car was out, Max Verstappen was back in the lead with an easy maneuver over a vulnerable Lewis Hamilton. “That was the biggest f*** up!” Hamilton complained.
George Russell took over the second position, while Hamilton slammed his team. “I can’t believe you guys”, he thundered. He knew Charles Leclerc was on to him, too. And the Ferrari driver went into the third spot on lap 66. Meanwhile, Russell was hunting down Verstappen.
Twice in the lead in the Dutch Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton finished fourth. Mercedes-AMG Petronas though, had a driver on the podium. George Russell finished second, behind the home’s favorite, Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc was third.
Lewis Hamilton apologized to his team. “I was on the edge of breaking point with emotions,” Lewis eventually said. “My apologies to the team, because I don’t even remember what I said. I just lost it for a second. But I think they know that it’s just so much passion.”
Apologies accepted and Toto Wolff says they all took on the risk. “We are the trash bin for the driver. It’s highly emotional, you’re that close, racing for the win, and then you’re being eaten up. So it’s clear that every emotion comes out. As a driver, you’re in the cockpit, you’re alone, you don’t se what’s happening.”
“A the end, it didn’t work out for him. But I’d rather take the risk to win the race with Lewis rather than finish second or third.”