Not satisfied with winning his third world title and a trophy for securing most pole positions this year, Lewis Hamilton was unhappy after finishing second behind his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 30-year-old Briton, who clinched his third championship at last month’s United States Grand Prix, moaned that Mercedes deprived Formula Onefans of a real race at Interlagos by refusing to relent on their strict policy for matching race strategies.
Hamilton, who believed he was faster on the track than Rosberg, but unable to pass, asked the team to give him a chance to change strategy and try to beat his team-mate.
“I am here to race,” said a frustrated Hamilton. “And when you have the same strategy, it’s set from the beginning. So, let’s take a risk.
“I had the pace, but you can’t overtake here. I was behind Nico, attacking for some time, but I killed my tyres. It’s such a great track, but you can’t get close enough unless you have a huge advantage on the guy in front.
“The DRS (Drag Reduction System) zone may not be long enough. That could have been the thing to make the difference. I just wanted to see if there were any other options.
“It would be great sometimes, to be able to do something different rather ‘you’re in on lap 15, and you’re in on lap 16’.
“For me, I think we have to try to have some options and then see how it plays out.”
Hamilton had been even more blunt on the podium when he described the race as “boring”.
Unsurprisingly, Rosberg said it would be unfair if Mercedes allowed the drivers to run with different strategies.
“It’s a discussion we’ve had many times and it wouldn’t be fair for the guy running second to go for another strategy and for it to turn out it was massively the better strategy,” said the German after his second successive win and fifth of the season allowed him to seal the runner-up spot in the championship.
“And you win the race, just because of luck and the other strategy being so much quicker. That’s the big problem with it. That’s why it doesn’t make sense.
“It should be me against Lewis. That’s it. And, no luck – not one strategy working better than another.”
Rosberg added: “I had the pace advantage over Lewis. He wasn’t going to go past me. I was six seconds in front at the end and he would never pass me with that pace.”
Hamilton, who has lost his intensely competitive edge since winning the title in Texas, refused to concede the point.
“I had the pace and contrary to what Nico was saying, at one point I was all over him, but I just couldn’t get by.” – Agence France-Presse