Lewis Hamilton frustrated by Mercedes' strategy at Miami Grand Prix

Seven-time world champion finished behind teammate George Russell in inaugural race that was won by Verstappen

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Lewis Hamilton questioned his Mercedes team's strategy during the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday after he finished sixth behind team-mate George Russell.

Having struggled with the car throughout this Formula One season, Hamilton is sixth in the drivers' standings on 36 points, with his teammate fourth on 59.

At the inaugural race in Miami, world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull snatched victory, slashing Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc's overall lead from 27 to 19 points after five races.

Leclerc fought hard for second, 3.786 seconds behind after starting on pole position, with Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz completing the podium at the Hard Rock Stadium circuit.

Victory was the Dutch driver's third of the season, and second in a row, and he made it happen with a crucial overtake around the outside on Sainz at the start to seize second place before blasting past Leclerc on the ninth of the 57 laps.

Lower down the grid, seven-time world champion Hamilton said he was surprised to be asked if he wanted to pit for fresh tyres during a safety car period after 41 laps of the 67-lap race at the Miami International Autodrome.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen after winning the Miami GP on Sunday. EPA

"I really don't know, in that scenario I have no clue where everyone is," Hamilton said.

"When the team say 'it's your choice' – I don't have the information to make the decision.

"That's what your job is! Make the decision for me. You've got all the details right there in front of you. I don't. That's what you rely on the guys for, but today they gave it to me and I didn't understand it."

Mercedes decided not to pit Hamilton.

"It's just a bit unfortunate on the safety car, but at least we got points today," he said.

"We're finishing and reliability is good. We just have to keep trying. I'm excited to, at one stage, take a step forward, which we haven't yet."

Hamilton finished 13th two weeks back at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

It has been a difficult weekend for Hamilton, having earlier expressed his frustration while comparing the Miami circuit to a B&Q car park back home. He also threatened to pull out of the race in response to FIA's ban on piercings and jewellery.

Hamilton had criticised the tight left-right chicane at Turns 14 and 15 of the purpose-built temporary layout which runs round the Hard Rock Stadium – home of NFL's Miami Dolphins – and called for it to be removed.

"We are evaluating some of the drivers' comments to make sure we can improve, and we are open to changing whatever we need to do to make the track better," Miami GP chief Tom Garfinkel said.

"I don't know if we communicated well enough why the chicane exists. It was a necessary evil to slow the drivers down because we don't have enough run-off space.

"But from talking to F1 and the FIA, there is an opportunity to change that and make it better. We are also evaluating the surface, and we want to make that right, and make changes if needed."

Updated: May 09, 2022, 12:38 PM