Lewis Hamilton wanted to retire from Sunday’s German GP only to be told by Mercedes “there are always opportunities.”
Hamilton had a wretched day out at the Hockenheimring as the pole-sitter lost out when, as Toto Wolff put it, a “multitude of things” went wrong.
That included a crash into the barriers for Hamilton, a pit stop that took over 50 seconds as his Mercedes needed a new front wing and a five-second time penalty for entering the pitlane the wrong side of a bollard.
It is no wonder that Hamilton, who was also unwell, wanted to retired his W10 on lap 53.
Race engineer Pete Bonnington: “Okay, Lewis box, box for new soft tyres.”
Hamilton: “Retire the car.”
Bonnington: “Negative, Lewis, negative, there are always opportunities.”
Those opportunities did not materialise in the final 11 laps of the 64-lap German GP with Hamilton crossing the line in 11th place.
He would later be elevated to P9, scoring two points, after the Alfa Romeos were disqualified.
Wolff says his drivers should be admired for even climbing in the car on Sunday.
“Lewis wasn’t healthy the whole weekend, but I think he did the most he could to get himself in an OK place for the race,” said the team boss.
“Many of us wouldn’t have considered being in the car but he did. You can’t physically be at your best when you’ve been ill for a few days.
“Having said that he tried to push through and that needs to be admired.”