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Christian Horner

Horner on Hamilton ignoring team order: It's a difficult situation

Christian Horner said that Lewis Hamilton initially ignoring the Mercedes call to pit for a fresh set of Intermediates was a "hero to zero" moment.

Hamilton Turkey rain
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To news overview © Mercedes

Red Bull's Christian Horner has said that Lewis Hamilton's initial resistance of Mercedes' instruction to him to pit for fresh Intermediate tyres in Turkey could have made him a "hero", had his original set held on just a few laps more.

With the used Intermediates looking competitive for almost the entire race, Hamilton was running in third in the closing stages but resisted the call from Mercedes to pit for a fresh set.

Hamilton, as well as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, initially looked like they were pulling a masterstroke, but the tyres began to fade badly about 10 laps from home.

Hamilton felt that the tyres could have made it to the end of the race, a possibility that Pirelli believe was very marginal and potentially dangerous, and Horner reckons it could have been 50/50 had he persevered with it.

"It's a difficult one, because if he just stayed out and got to the end, he'd look a hero," Horner told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"When it doesn't work out, it goes to zero. So it's a tricky one, isn't it?

"He overruled them the previous week [in Russia] and it worked OK. Unfortunately this time for him, for our benefit, we were able to capitalise on that.

"It's always the dynamic between the pitwall and the driver, obviously."

Red Bull made the decision quite early to commit to fresh Intermediates, and Horner explained that there was never an inclination from Red Bull to try making it to the flag.

"It sounds like Mercedes did make the call to bring him in, but it sounds like the driver overruled it so I mean... it's tricky out there," he said.

"At one point, it looked like if Lewis went to the end without a stop, it would have been the best route but, from our position, we looked at that and we felt we wouldn't have had any tyre left at the end of the race.

"[That's] why we elected to pit when we did, especially with Checo [Perez] who we could have left out longer but, in the end, it worked out well."

F1 2021 Turkish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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