Lewis Hamilton apologized to Mercedes for his outburst on the radio yesterday Grand Prix of the Netherlands. The seven-time world champion admitted he was close to a nervous breakdown after losing three positions in the space of a few laps.
Hamilton was leading the race at Zandvoort before his former team-mate Valtteri Bottas stopped his car at the end of the start-finish straight with a technical problem. This caused a security car to come out. Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and even George Russell entered the pits during this period. The Brit entered a lap later than his rivals and put on a set of soft tyres.
Meanwhile, Hamilton received a radio message to stay on the track and defend against Verstappen. The Mercedes driver was on medium tires on lap 10, while his Red Bull rival had just put on softs.
Immediately after the restart, Hamilton was “swallowed” by Verstappen on the start-finish straight. Then he lost ground to Russell and Leclerc.
Quite expectedly, the Briton was very angry when he found out about Mercedes’ decision.
“I can’t believe you screwed me over. I honestly can’t tell you how screwed I am. It really was the biggest blunder that happened this year. I can’t describe how angry I am.’
After the race, Hamilton apologized to his team. He admitted that at that moment he had let rage get the better of common sense.
“I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I apologize to the team because I don’t even remember what I said. I just lost my mind for a second,” Hamilton said.
“Everyone in boxing knows I’m extremely emotional and I want to look at this as a glass half full,” Hamilton continued. “We came here with problems from the last race, and yesterday we struggled against Red Bull. In many moments we were faster than them and we had a real chance for more than fourth place.”
Hamilton is still without a win since the start of the 2022 season. Such a thing has not happened since the 37-year-old veteran has been part of F1.
The seven-time world champion believes that if he had applied the initial one-stop strategy he could have battled Verstappen for the win.
“If it wasn’t for the safety car we would have challenged them for the win at the end of the race. I don’t think any team had an answer to our tempo on hard.”
“The car was finally working well. I can take a lot of positives from this race. I hope this happens again in the next few starts. I promise that we will continue to breathe down Red Bull’s neck and take victory,” concluded Lewis Hamilton.
The Mercedes team still won a trophy from Zandvoort thanks to George Russellwho finished in second place.
This #DutchGP has been a rollercoaster. In the end it’s P2 and the best result of the season so far @georgerussell63. @lewishamilton comes home P4. And only a short time to take a breath: Next weekend we race in Monza. 💯 #WorldsFastestFamily #MercedesAMGF1 #F1 pic.twitter.com/oj7ZBVhv7o
— Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (@amgmotorsport) September 4, 2022