LEWIS HAMILTON started and finished in P6 at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton took a swipe at his Mercedes team after being outshone by George Russell at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
The 37-year-old was faced with an important strategic decision while behind a Safety Car towards the end of the race, and he did not take kindly to his crew asking him to make the decision on whether to pit or not.
Hamilton had trouble right from the start of the Grand Prix, slipping from P6 to P8 after being hit by Fernando Alonso. Russell had similar issues in falling from P12 to P15, but the youngster took the decision to stay out for a long stint in the hope of a late Safety Car.
Russell’s prediction then came true as Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly made contact, which ended both of their afternoons, and he eventually fought his way towards the front. A tense wheel-to-wheel battle with Hamilton saw the newbie come out on top, which was no surprise given his fresh medium compound tyres.
During the Safety Car period, Hamilton snapped at his team over the radio when asked whether he would like to pit. After the race, he shared more details on the incident.
“In that scenario, I have no clue where everyone is,” the seven-time world champion told Sky Sports. “So when the team say it’s your choice, I’m like ‘I don’t have the information to make the decision’.
“That’s what your job is [smiling]. Make the decision for me. You’ve for all the details and I don’t. That’s what you rely on and today they gave it to me and I didn’t understand it. It was just a bit unfortunate under the Safety Car but at least we got points today.
“I’m excited at some stage to take the step forward, which we haven’t yet.”
The result opens up an even wider gap between Hamilton and Russell, with the newcomer sitting 23 points ahead in the Drivers’ Championship after five race weekends. Indeed, the 24-year-old is the only driver on the grid to have finished in the top five of every Grand Prix so far this season.
Hamilton was under pressure to turn his individual performances around amid expectations that he would take Russell to the cleaners in his debut season with the Silver Arrows. But many still expect him to come on strong once Mercedes fix their porpoising issues and he emerges from a run of hard luck, including team principal Toto Wolff.
“George stayed out a long time and we were betting on a safety car and that realised but it went against Lewis who lost a position,” the Austrian told Sky Sports. “It’s just a bit down. We’re third quickest. This is where we are. We’re not as quick in qualifying and we are behind the Red Bulls and Ferrari.”
Fans in Miami were treated to another battle between Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, with the Dutchman coming out on top for the third time this season. The duo are already breaking clear of the chasing pack after five races, and the gap between them stands at 19 points.