For wet races, the Turkish GP might not have been the most interesting one. However, the race at the front of the grid was nothing short of gripping. As Valtteri Bottas lead the race, the Mercedes-Red Bull-Ferrari mix brought all the action.
As the race came to its final moments, strategy and pit stops were critical. Lewis Hamilton, close to a podium finish, wanted to stay out on the inters he started with, but Mercedes had other plans.
Mercedes had a priority – no DNFs. In an attempt to prevent a tire failure on the machine, the team called in Hamilton multiple times to switch to fresh intermediate tires. However, the driver believed staying out and pushing through would be the better call. Soon, Mercedes called in their driver on the 51st lap.
While Mercedes had a flawless strategy in Russia, the tables turned on them in Turkey. The pitstop pushed Leclerc to third, but by the time Hamilton had his tires warmed up for attack, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez had solidified his place on the podium. The Mercedes call left Hamilton battling with Pierre Gasly‘s AlphaTauri for P5.
When Hamilton asked his team for his position, later on, the Brit was far from pleased with the answer on the other end. “We shouldn’t have come in man, I told you!”. For a driver who has been calm throughout the season, the vexed radio only reflected his frustrations.
The pitstop was a long time coming for Lewis; however, on the team’s part, the timing was off. Hamilton gave in to the team’s commands after realizing he lost places to Perez and Leclerc. However, coming out of the pit lane behind Gasly cost him what could have been a better position,; especially when every point in the championship counts.