Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton called for Mercedes to retire him from German mission

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton told Mercedes to retire him from a rain-sodden German Grand Prix at Hockenheim at the weekend.

In a radio message which was not aired during Sunday's broadcast, Hamilton urged his team to pull him out with 11 laps to go.

After running off the road for a second time on a mistake-ridden afternoon, Hamilton was 13th and set to drop to last ahead of a sixth pit stop when he made the call.

Mercedes, however, instructed Hamilton to continue.

"Okay, Lewis. Box, box for new soft tyres," said the Briton's race engineer Pete Bonnington on lap 53.

"Retire the car," Hamilton replied.

"Negative, Lewis, negative," said Bonnington. "There are always opportunities."

Hamilton would take the chequered flag in 11th. He was later promoted two places after both Alfa Romeo drivers were hit with time penalties for a technical infringement.

That would earn Hamilton two points to extend his Championship lead over Valtteri Bottas to 41 following the Finn's late crash on a miserable day for Mercedes at their home event.

Hamilton had led for almost half the race before he crashed in the slippery conditions.

The 34-year-old will spend the next few days at his Monaco home in the hope of recovering from a virus which hindered his preparations in Germany.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "Many wouldn't have considered being in the car. You can't physically be at your best when you've been ill for a few days.

"He tried to push through and that needs to be admired."

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