Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022

‘I can’t believe you guys screwed me’: Hamilton fumes at team on radio after defeat

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton lambasted his Mercedes team on the radio after their strategic call which swung the outcome of the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver spent the race in the hunt for victory against Max Verstappen. However the team’s decision not to pit him during a late Safety Car period saw him fall to fourth place at the flag.

Hamilton became the race leader when Verstappen pitted and changed from hard tyres to softs. The Mercedes driver continued on his medium tyres.

Later in the Safety Car period, Hamilton’s team mate George Russell pitted to switch from medium tyres to softs. That relinquished second place to Verstappen.

When the race restarted, Verstappen immediately passed Hamilton to take the lead. Hamilton fell to fourth place by the end of the race, being passed by both Russell and Charles Leclerc, who also switched to soft tyres.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff came on the radio after the race and apologised to Hamilton, while reminding him the team had gone into the race willing to take risks in pursuit of their first win of the year.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Hamilton’s radio messages after Safety Car

Hamilton restarted the race in the lead on a set of medium compound tyres, with Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc behind him on soft tyres.

SpeakerMessage
BonningtonSo when the lights go out it’ll be strat mode five and you can use early overtake push. Push and hold available at your discretion.
BonningtonSafety Car at turn 12.
BonningtonSafety Car apex 13.
BonningtonSafety Car apex 14.
BonningtonIn the pit lane.
BonningtonStrat five.

Verstappen passed Hamilton before the first corner after the restart.

BonningtonVerstappen passes Hamilton So you’ve got George 0.6 behind.
BonningtonAnd you have at least three or four laps of early push overtake if you need it.
HamiltonI can’t believed you guys fucking screwed me, man. I can’t tell you how pissed I am right now.
BonningtonCopy Lewis. We’ll chat afterwards. DRS has been enabled.
HamiltonYeah I know I can’t close in.
BonningtonLeclerc 0.7. Remember that early overtake push.
HamiltonGap behind?
BonningtonSainz at 1.3
HamiltonIs everyone on soft tyres?
BonningtonJust those around us. We’ve got Sainz doing 15.0, he’s under pressure from Perez, he’s on the medium.

After the race Hamilton made a point of thanking his mechanics for their quick pits stops during the race, but made no mention of the others.

HamiltonHow many laps left?
BonningtonIt’ll be five when you cross the line.
BonningtonGap to Sainz at 2.2.
BonningtonSainz behind 15.6
BonningtonLeclerc ahead doing 14.5
BonningtonSo one more lap. Go strat mode five to the end.
BonningtonSorry about that Lewis. it was looking good. We’ll sit down and review the decision we made there.
WolffYeah Lewis sorry it didn’t work out. We took a risk, it didn’twork out, but let’s discuss between us in the office.
BonningtonLewis if you go HPP one position 14 please.
HamiltonTo all the mechanics, fantastic job today, that’s the best pit stops we’ve had all year so thank you for your continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing. We still got points today.
BonningtonThanks Lewis, appreciate the message.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Dutch Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

90 comments on “‘I can’t believe you guys screwed me’: Hamilton fumes at team on radio after defeat”

  1. Well, George Russell knew what he wanted and asked for it, you did not

    1. Exactly. George showed his class, today.

      1. It will be interesting to see what happened there. From an entirely selfish point of view, it was the right call for Russell to make, but one question I have is whether he chose to be selfish over following the plan of the team.

        It doesn’t really make sense to leave Lewis out on old tyres, but bring George in, if your aim is to take a risk for the win. And Toto says that’s what they were aiming for. But if you’re going to do that, it makes no sense to leave Lewis without George as the rear gunner.

        I have a suspicion the plan was to leave both cars out, but George decided otherwise because he knew it would be his best chance to get higher up on the podium. The trouble is that in such circumstances, the right answer would have been to pit both of them and secure 2nd and 3rd, given the tyre age and compound difference.

        1. George has the right to challenge for a higher finishing position. He isn’t a “rear gunner”, he’s (rightly) ahead in the championship.

          1. I’m not talking about him being a rear gunner in general, I’m talking about the specifics of this race. The only chance Merc had of taking the win was to use Russell as a rear gunner for those last few laps. It would have been the same situation if George had been running ahead of Lewis in those closing laps.

            Either Merc were fine with him changing tyres, in which case they undermined their own aim to win the race. Or George decided on his own, and undermined the team’s aim.

          2. Even before the race restart, I couldn’t see Max NOT overtaking both Mercs had they both not pitted.
            Had there been ~2-3 laps, I could see it just about happening, but given how quickly Max was able to overtake Lewis, had that been George with Lewis ahead, he would have still been able to catch up and overtake him before race’s end.

            imo George pitting was the only way both Mercs weren’t going to get overtaken by Leclerc.
            2-4 rather than 3-4 had they both stayed out.

          3. @oople I agree with you that Max was likely to easily overtake both Mercs regardless, if they remained on the old tyres. If Merc thought that too, keeping Lewis out was a waste of time and they may as well have given Red Bull something to think about by pitting Lewis and forcing RB to choose whether to take track position or be behind Lewis on the same tyre compound.

        2. It is time for Toto to go. He cost Lewis the championship at Abu Dabi and a win today.

        3. You’re right Simon

    2. George had nothing to lose, Lewis was fighting for the win…

    3. No. George realised he was going to win the race for Lewis and insted decided to pit. Good on George. Merc no longer have a bottas ironically the bottas stoppage should have helped mercedes.

      1. Obviously red bull asked tsunoda to stop to get a VSC to advantage verstappen, then mercedes asked his old team member bottas if he could park the car in the end of the finish straight to get a SC to advantage hamilton and russell.

    4. Fact Controller
      4th September 2022, 17:07

      It’s all a fix guys. Most races an Alpha Tauri will stop late on track to help Red Bull or an Alfa for Ferrari.

    5. Hamilton will have thought he had a car behind him playing defense. By allowing George to change strategies without informing Lewis completely changes the situation and does screw him over. He is right to be peeved to have been left in that situation by his own team.

      The decision made was right for George’s. It was probably the wrong call for the team result, and definitely the wrong call for team cohesion.

    6. True chacter shows in these situations…it quite easy to praise the team when you are winning all the time..

      1. Cos no other driver has ranted over the radio. None what so ever.

  2. We win as a team, we lose as… No. You guys screwed me over.

    1. His Teammate didn’t lose with him now, did he?

      1. I didn’t see a Mercedes driver on the top step of the podium, so yes he did.

        1. I don’t see why Russel should care if Hamilton is to win a race or not. Not his problem, not at all. He just didn’t play stupid, and as a result of him using his own brain, he didn’t lose at least a couple of positions.

  3. I wonder if Toto will also blame Yuki and Red Bull like some very experienced F1-watchers on this site…

    1. Don’t forget Valtteri Bottas, who surely keeps a few unsettled issues

    2. @duuxdeluxe He’d be right to do so as their actions seemed a bit too good to be a mere coincidence.

    3. It was suspicious… Ive been watching f1 for 30 years. Ive seen my fair share of questionable actions etc throughout the years. To deny the issue with Yuki is t9 be naive considering…

      1. Ah yes, because some random person on the internet has watched F1 for 30 years, surely he knows it all!

        One could claim it has been F1 that has shown questionable stuff, I’d be more for the person watching having questionable eyes…

        1. Why insult me? Im just giving my opinion from experience. No need to attack my integrity.

          1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
            4th September 2022, 16:44

            You seem to have no problem to question the integrity of a whole team or actual 2 teams you do not support.
            Would you have said the same if it was Williams and Mercedes benefitting.

      2. Don’t get mad if your opinion is a bit laughable, and people react on that in a way you probably don’t like. Maybe next write ‘I think it’s suspicious, but I have no fact to prove that’

      3. 30 years, wow. That might explain it.

    4. I found this all very sus: the best tyres seemed to be the Hards – first letter “H” just like Hamilton’s name. Yuki stops, than the TV shows a VSC sign – V as in Verstappen. I cant see how one would requred more evidence.

      1. It’s clear that this conspiracy has been simmering for the last 108 years. Yuki and Toto are just prawns in a bigger game.

      2. My eyes are open now, I thank you.

      3. Why make it that complicated? Tsunoda is part of the red bull’s minor team and bottas is an old mercedes driver, which team did those help respectively?

        1. Personally, I blame the Illuminati. And the Masons.

  4. Brings back memories of Abu Dhabi. MB refusing to give up track position to pit for red tires. Then again, Lewis could have asked for reds like George.

  5. I’m interested that they allowed Russell to go onto the softs – a counter strategy to what Hamilton was doing and arguably the better choice to steal 2nd. If he’d stayed on mediums the pair would have defended 2nd/3rd from Leclerc, instead they let Hamilton drop down out of the podium. They never used to let Bottas change tyres to fight Hamilton in the past.

    1. @rocketpanda A better strategy would have been to use Russell on mediums to block Verstappen at the restart and give Hamilton a shot at passing him on soft tyre. However Russell called for the soft tyres – more reminiscent of Leclerc (passive strategy) v. Sainz (actively telling Ferrari what to do) than anything else.

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        4th September 2022, 16:45

        Like Russell could have blocked or kept Max behind!
        Max was by far the fastest in last 12 laps

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer Like I said, blocked Max at the restart, allowing Hamilton to take advantage and pass Max. Though still overwhelmingly likely that the Red Bull’s pace on the straights would have allowed Verstappen to pass. I don’t think Mercedes any realistic chance of the win after Verstappen could swap off the hard tyres. Hamilton could have had second though, obviously.

          1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
            4th September 2022, 17:23

            How would Russell have blocked Max, once Russell would have speeded up he isn’t allowed to slow down anymore, same that Lewis couldn’t have braked causing Max to overtake before the finish line.
            No chance for Russell to hold up or block Max down the start/finish straight as track is wide enough for 3-4 cars next to each other.

            They changed that rule quite some years ago that once the leader goes he isn’t allowed to slow down unnecessary anymore. If Lewis would have been smart he would have waited much longer before speeding up, already being on the start/finish straight, reducing chance Max could immediately overtake and increasing changes of problems behind him (like it happened in F2 race) and thus the safety car coming out again.

    2. If he’d stayed on mediums the pair would have defended 2nd/3rd from Leclerc

      No they wouldn’t. Leclerc overtook Lewis in the actual race with many laps to go – so had it been Lewis and George on old Mediums in your scenario, Leclerc would have overtaking George at approx. the same time, giving him still well more than enough laps to take on Lewis before the end…

  6. It only made sense for Merc to gamble for a win on old mediums if Lewis had that buffer to Max. The minute they let George come in, it was guaranteed to fail. Either keep them both out (best case 1-2/worst case 3-4) or pit them both (and end up with a 2-3). If one driver is operating under the assumption that the strategy department are managing both cars and they then let the other driver decide their own strategy, I can see why the first driver would be ever so slightly miffed.

    1. Exactly. For years we’ve heard Merc say they do a team strategy and their strategy is designed for the best result for the team. This clearly wasn’t the case, as doing the same with both cars would have been the best team strategy. The writing may be on the wall for Lewis, that Merc are more concerned about keeping George happy than they are in keeping Lewis happy.

      1. Even so, I got positively surprised by hamilton this season, I didn’t think he could beat russell at this age, but on pace he seems the best merc driver still.

      2. absolutely, lets welcome Lewis at Ferrari next year. As a model champion many times over, he should have preferential treaqtment over a rookie partner.

    2. Well said.

      I can see Hamilton making more of his own calls in situations like this in the future, as he knows the team are no longer running the strategy for the benefit of the whole team. It completely goes against the way the team has run strategy since Hamilton joined, and there is likely to be a rethink….

      1. @drmouse – There’s a huge difference though between having a number 2 driver supporting Hamilton to win a title and two equal drivers who are both out of the title fight. Russell is used to making these quick decisions to gain positions because in his years at Williams, that’s what he’s had to do. Hamilton has always left these decisions to his team. In this case, it didn’t work out for him… The team are generally cautious (see Abu Dhabi last year or Hungary where everyone but him pitted for a re-start) and that works when you’re dominant but when you’re the underdog, you have make aggressive decisions at the right time.

        1. I can’t agree with russell’s decision here: mercedes already got 2nd places this year, they’re trying to win a race, the only one who had a semi-realistic chance was hamilton, russell was slower all race.

  7. Fairly sure Hamilton was expecting them to hold track position for both drivers which was almost certainly sacrificing Russell’s 2nd place for 3rd or 4th but may have just been enough to take the win

    So instead of gambling for at best 1st and 3rd and at worst 2nd and 4th, they pitted Russell guaranteeing 2nd and 4th with no hope of the win while also inverting their drivers finishing position

    Yes Hamilton could also have done the strategists job for them and insisted on switching to softs as well to take a safe 2/3 finish, but the team should have been bold here to try to steal what could be their only win this season. Letting Russell take that stop gained the team nothing and lost them the chance at a win, it was a poor call

  8. What is the time loss for a pit stop with the entire field having to go through the pitlane? 4 seconds? Maybe even less.
    They could have pitted and stayed ahead of Verstappen.

    1. I do not think so, the cars were already bunched up. In that moment Verstappen already won.

    2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      4th September 2022, 16:47

      Toto in an interview explained his views and he said that pitting Lewis would have put him behind Max.

  9. @rocketpanda A better strategy would have been to use Russell on mediums to block Verstappen at the restart and give Hamilton a shot at passing him on soft tyre. However Russell called for the soft tyres – more reminiscent of Leclerc (passive strategy) v. Sainz (actively telling Ferrari what to do) than anything else.

  10. Wolff even admitted that Russell could not catch Verstappen, so if he was “trying to win”, leaving Russell out would have been the obvious strategy- you know, the way Perez blocks for Verstappen when that helps the team.

    Russell was selfish and the team let him get away with it. It sounded like they said “Stop, stop” before “Box, box”. They wanted him to stay out and he disobeyed, then they had cover their butts….

    The rules of VSC and Safety Cars are idiotic either way.

  11. Russell screwed you over by running away from being the buffer.

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      4th September 2022, 16:48

      Would not have mattered, Max would have passed Russell immediately like he did Lewis and would have overtaken Lewis easily with DRS.
      Max finished more than 10 seconds ahead in last 12 laps of racing and Lewis mediums were only 9 laps old.

      1. @jelle-van-der-meer No, it’s actually impossible to pass a car that doesn’t want to let you by. Russell could have held back Max for 10 laps, if he wanted to. He’s a fantastic driver and if he used the car as a way of saying “you’re not getting by” like Alonso did last year in Hungary and also like Perez did in Abu Dhabi, Max wasn’t getting by.

        He would have been forced to retire because of damage to his wing, tyre etc.

        1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
          4th September 2022, 17:31

          Sorry but that is a nonsense comment – so why did Lewis drop from 1st to 4th in 12 laps, fairly sure he didn’t wanted to be overtaken.
          Both Alonso and Perez were overtaken and like Max overtook Lewis, Russell most likely would have been overtaken before turn 1. Keep in mind Max was on softs and Russell would have been on used mediums – so in your fantasy maybe but in the real world no chance Russell could have held Max back for more than 1 lap and cause Max to fall more than 5 seconds back from Hamilton. In the 11 laps remaining Max would have got close and overtake Lewis with DRS without an issue. Max was 13 seconds faster than Lewis in 12 laps without having DRS.

          1. @jelle-van-der-meer You just need to move 1.5 to 2 times or not leave the space. Didn’t you watch Silverstone last year? You don’t need to break the rules – you just need to test them. You just get your shoulders out and make that car as wide as possible or cut in or push Max off the track like he did last year or brake test him on a corner.

          2. By your logic everyone who have ever lost an f1 race in a history of that sport have lost it because they wanted to lose, because

            it’s actually impossible to pass a car that doesn’t want to let you by

            , I’ve seen some nonsense written by f1 “experts” over the years, but seriously your theory gets the cake. And btw. it’s elbows out not shoulders out :/

          3. Um, sure. If it was that easy there wouldn’t be any passing at all. Some basic stuff about racing ignoring things like apices (cool plural of apex) and exit speed and lots of other stuff; blocking another car means you are not driving the optimum line and are going to go slower and eventually get passed. Plus no swerving……

        2. @freelittlebirds – so… you’re saying Lewis wanted to let Max past? Why didn’t he make it impossible? Did he want to let Russell and Leclerc past as well?

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            5th September 2022, 3:27

            @petebaldwin there’s a difference between slowing someone down and keeping them behind forever. Lewis just needed George to slow down Max. Didn’t you watch Massa and Maldonado in 2011?:)

    2. Russel chose to be 2nd rather than 3rd you mean. Isnt that what drivers do?

  12. @Jelle Teams have cheated many times in F1…

  13. Russell settled for second (which he would have been at best if he hadn’t switched tyres) while Hamilton was going for a low chance of a win which depended on his teammate acting as a buffer.

    That’s all that happened. Hamilton would have never made the call to switch to softs because that meant losing the race for sure. Russell could make that call because he never had a shot at winning.

    1. @casjo exactly! it was a no-brainer for Russell but a very complicated decision for Hamilton. I think Mercedes should have gone for it with Russell acting as a buffer.

    2. I’m pretty sure Hamilton wouldn’t have made the call to stay on mediums if he’d known Russell was switching to softs and wouldn’t be acting as a buffer for him. That’s where the team screwed him: by not giving him the complete picture. If he’d made the same decision with the full picture, he would have only himself to blame, but he made the reasonable assumption that his own team wouldn’t completely change the playing field without telling him.

      1. @drmouse yeah, well said

      2. @drmouse

        This may be true, but to be fair to Mercedes Russel asked to change tires very late in the lap so there was not much time to convey this info to Hamilton.
        Also they could not double stack without Russel losing lots of positions so they just went for the driver who asked for the change.

  14. That was on par with Ferrari in Silverstone, that was worse only because Leclerc lost that race because of it, Hamilton only lost a second place.

    But since 2019 they have been doing this a lot as a strategy, leave him with old tyres expecting a miracle.

    Red Bull’s Hanna go circles around Mercedes’s James, no doubt about it.

  15. Lets fan the flames: Which is worse: calling another driver an idiot or tellling an entire team they screwed up.

  16. Mercedes should have orchestrated this as a team and gone for victory. Instead, they promoted Russell to P2 and pushed Lewis off the podium.

    I think Hamilton’s comments were echoed by 2,000 people working at Mercedes except the strategist.

    1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      4th September 2022, 17:27

      Toto in an interview said himself that pitting Russell and not Hamilton was considered the only chance they had on a race win.
      When the decision was made Lewis medium tyres were only 5-6 laps old and Mercedes didn’t expect mediums to drop off that much.
      If they pitted both Max would have been ahead on softs with more pace
      Not pitting would have meant both would have dropped down the order – same as Hamilton was fairly easily overtaken by Russell and Leclerc, Max would have easily have overtaken first Russell and then Lewis. Lewis finished 13 seconds behind Max in the 12 laps they raced.

      1. Toto was “confused” and contradicted himself. He admitted in the same interview that Verstappen was too fast for Russell and that Hamilton was faster than Russell the whole weekend. The guys doing the TV interview had to ask him 3 times why not leave both out and still hardly got through.

        Toto makes no sense and talks himslef in circles trying to excuse the blunder: if the goal was to win the best chance was to leave both out. If the goal was most probable points then put both on soft and at least get 2nd and 3rd. Leaving both on medium would have made it extremely unlikely to do worse than 2nd and 4th. Especially if Russell did the right thing the way Perez has done for Verstappen.

        Even with both on softs, Hamilton had a slim shot at overtaking on the restart.

      2. Max would have easily have overtaken first Russell and then Lewis. Lewis finished 13 seconds behind Max in the 12 laps they raced.

        Not according to the Sky announcers.

        Even though Lewis had no reason to race for time after he got passed by Perez, 12 seconds in 13 laps was not enough. The broadcasters said that about 1.5 seconds per lap advantage was needed to overtake at this track. Verstappen can pass one car at the restart, because one car can’t block the track. But two cars working together can- and do so all the time.

  17. I think this race showed George is in it for himself rather than the team. He just wants to finish ahead of Ham at the end of the year so he can say “I’ve beaten Ham a 7 time world champion”

    Merc got it wrong, sacrificed the lead driver to finish 2nd. If you go for the win, you need both cars on the same tyre.

    In all scenarios Max wins, but you have a better chance to win if both stay on mediums or both move to stops.

    George turning into one of those annoying drivers.

    1. Only if you’re a Hamilton fan.

      1. Nothing to do with who is a fan of whom. Saying that only highlights your lack of a strategic brain.

        If Merc wanted a p1 the only option was put Lewis on softs as the lead car (and the same would have been true if Russell was the lead car) and have whoever is p2 at that point try and play blocker, like Perez seems to do nearly every other race for Verstapaan.

        What they did screwed the lead driver and shows it was a lack of forethought which is no surprise as Redbull are a superior team in that department generally let alone with the magic combo of Max and the current gen car.

        1. If Lewis had pitted for softs then he would have dropped behind both Russel and Verstappen.
          Russel would not have been able to defend better than Lewis did at the restart so this wouldn’t have worked either.

  18. I think the best strategy would be for Russell to stop in the RB pit box thus preventing Verstappen changing to the softs.

  19. At this point I’m sorry Hamilton isn’t a Ferrari driver. The radio communication would’ve been hilarious.

  20. Of all bad radio calls, this was a low one for sure….

  21. It has nothing to do with Russell asking for tyres.
    10 laps to go, bunched up pack, so everybody asked for soft tyres but not him?

    It was the obvious thing to do, one don’t even need to ask. For whatever reason they completely miscalculated the situation. Hamilton was not even close to win this race and in their minds, this was their best shot.

    Had they not tried to win they would be 2nd and 4th the same, but with Hamilton ahead.

  22. 1. – I think Hamilton made a mistake at the restart by ‘bolting’ in the final turn instead of at the start line.
    2. – Good on Russell for demanding soft tyres. Surprised Mercedes hadn’t already considered that, but maybe they(Toto?) were too invested in wanting Hamilton to win.

  23. Ah, I thought he was upset that George went to softs and Lewis felt he’d lost his rear gunner. I guess being upset for not pitting makes more sense. All largely moot though. Lewis on the same aged softs as Max would have been no match after the final restart. The only reason Lewis had a sniff was that he had a strategic advantage over Max for much of the race.

  24. Disappointed with HAM. The team screwed the strategy. It was a SC and not a VSC. The pack bunches up and old tires are never going to beat old tires with over 10 laps to go. HAM fought RUS harder than he fought VER which is an indication of who HAM is truly racing this season. RUS is racing the Ferraris and made the correct call for new tires regardless of soft, medium, or hard.

    And let’s not forget that VET screwed HAM over by ignoring blue flags for half a lap. Surprised there was no penalty.

  25. All these nutty conspiracy theories…next they’ll be saying the Abe Lincoln assassination was a conspiracy and that the CIA was secretly behind the operation to kill Al Zawahiri in Kabul…

    Oh, wait…

  26. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    5th September 2022, 8:25

    “Unfortunately, Hamilton – circling behind the safety car leading but feeling like a sitting duck, deeply hacked off about what had transpired – exacerbated the problem by making an incorrect switch change on his steering wheel which meant he was in the wrong PU mode on the restart. Badly down on power, it was why Verstappen was able to pass him – to the huge roar of the crowd – so early on the straight, without even needing to do much of a slipstream.”

    It seems Lewis screwed himself a bit more by both picking the wrong point to restart the race (he should have gone later) and picking the wrong PU setting. This allowed Max to pass Hamilton more easily and robbed us fans of a more exciting fight in the next 1 or 2 laps.

  27. 100s of people are required to make the Mercedes F1 team function plus hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And Lewis thinks they would put all that in jeopardy just to “screw” Lewis’ race? The guy is a nutbag. It was a bad strategic decision by the team. But oh no, HRH thinks they are all against him!

Comments are closed.