Hamilton: I was right to question strategy in Mexico

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Lewis Hamilton thinks he was right to question Mercedes’ tyre strategy at the Mexican Grand Prix, though he also understands the final decision was taken on the grounds of safety.

The Briton was chasing team-mate Nico Rosberg for the lead when the pair was called for a surprise second stop in the middle of the race, as their squad worried about excessive tyre wear.

While the German immediately obeyed the order to pit, Hamilton did not follow suit on the next lap, telling Mercedes that he felt this was the wrong decision. Upon his race engineer’s instructions, the triple world champion eventually came in and went on to finish second behind Rosberg.

“In Mexico they said the tyres wouldn't last, but tyre life was 70 or 80 laps, so they would have lasted,” Hamilton told Autosport.

“I found out afterwards the tyres would have lasted so I could have stayed out and made the tyres go the whole race, no problem.

“But the team didn't know that at the time and their choice was to do a stop for safety reasons. They didn't know what the tyres would do because in the past tyres have blown up.

“But at least I knew in my heart I was right in terms of the decision I thought about taking.”

Two weeks later in Brazil, Hamilton once again found himself glued to Rosberg’s gearbox and unable to pass. The ex-McLaren protégé then urged his team to devise an alternative, but Mercedes’ equality policy and worry about third-placed Sebastian Vettel meant Hamilton’s call was not heeded.

Although he asked for more strategy freedom after the race in Interlagos, Hamilton insists he would never disobey team orders to pursue his own goals.

“It's a question of whether or not it's the right decision for the team because you also have to step back and realise it's not just about yourself.

“It's about 1,300 people, and the decision I selfishly make can impact all of them.

“I don't make a decision for myself. I want to make sure I make the right decision on behalf of everyone.”

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said in Brazil that drivers calling their own strategies would lose all the time.

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