Lewis Hamilton has responded to some of the backlash against himself and Mercedes following the Turkish Grand Prix, in which he finished fifth.
Hamilton had looked a contender for third place and a podium finish, initially resisting calls from Mercedes to pit for fresh Intermediates. Although he kept good life in his used tyres, they began to fade badly with 10 laps to go and he was ordered in for a fresh set.
However, this dropped him to fifth and, with the new tyres going through a graining phase, he even had to fend off pressure from behind to secure his eventual finishing position.
Hamilton was heard remonstrating with the team over the radio, and said after the race that he felt the tyres he started with could have made it to the chequered flag – a point that Pirelli believe would have been extremely marginal in terms of success.
Taking to social media on Monday morning, Hamilton denied that he and Mercedes are a little bit frosty with each other after the race.
"I've seen some of the press this morning which has made a bit too much of the incident in yesterday's race of when to pit," Hamilton wrote.
"It isn't true to say I'm furious with my team.
"As a team, we work hard to build the best strategy possible but, as the race progresses, you have to make split decisions, [as] there are so many factors constantly changing."
Following some back-and-forth between Mercedes and Hamilton over team radio, as the team tried to call him in to more closely match the strategy calls by Red Bull, the reigning World Champion stayed out on track until Lap 50 of 58 – at that point too late to reap the benefits of the fresh Intermediates.
However, Hamilton explained the logic behind his thinking.
"Yesterday, we took the risk to stay out hoping it would dry, [but] it didn't," he said.
"I wanted to risk it and try and go to the end, but it was my call to stay out and it didn't work. In the end, we did pit and it was the safest thing to do.
"We live and we learn. We win and we lose as a team. Don't ever expect me to be all polite and calm when I'm racing. We are all very passionate and in the heat of the moment that passion can come out, as it does for all drivers.
"My heart and spirit are out there on the track, it's the fire in me that's got me this far but any angst is quickly forgotten and we talked it through, already looking forward to the next race."