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"The auto came good but we just run out of the laps and I think we took it easily too long", he said.

But Mercedes didn't call in Hamilton, who had been leading the race from the start.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen's teammate who was celebrating his 29th birthday, was in a podium position but heavy rear tyre wear took its toll and he retired with a broken exhaust.

Unfortunately, we are unable to play the video at this time. The VSC was deployed by the officials to slow down the pack, but Hamilton, unlike all of his rivals, did not come in for fresh rubber. "The vehicle has been quick all weekend, we were the quickest".

After the miscommunication and the last of pit stop under the VSC, Hamilton dropped down to P4, and was then overtaken by Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn temporarily slipped behind Verstappen and Raikkonen for fourth, but made his way back past both drivers with a daring move around the outside of Turn 4 on the first lap.

James Vowles is the man in charge of strategy at Mercedes, and is now under increasing scrutiny.

"You've got to have confidence in your boys to nail a double stop with the proximity that the drivers were in there and we've got the best guys in the pit lane without any shadow of a doubt".

"We have got to understand how we went wrong", Hamilton said.

"Last weekend with the new engine it was positive but, even with the engine, between us and Ferrari the margins are very small. We were the quickest".

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It is the second time this season Hamilton has relinquished the lead of the race after a misjudged strategic call, having lost out at the opening round in Australia.

I know how hard everyone is working back at the factory to make sure we bring the good stuff. I anticipate it being one of the closest qualifying sessions that we've probably had this season. Going into Turn 3, I could recover two places and was back in second place.

"We were going flat out, and going flat out means you are overheating the surface of the tyre, and that causes the blistering". There was nothing I could have done to prevent the DNF.

"I need to catch up with the points, so today was definitely a very good day for me and I just hope we can continue like this".

"We had three runs and I was just punching a hole for everyone".

It was the first time the Mercedes team had a double retirement for reliability reasons since 1955, although Hamilton collided with team-mate Nico Rosberg at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Hats off to him because the tyres were so crucial there, you see the blisters and everything that's going on, he just managed to keep those temperatures down and manage it all the way through.

"We made a few changes to the aero balance compared to qualifying so I felt much better with the vehicle today", he said after the race. Fact. This is where we lost the race.

McLaren have said they know they have an aerodynamic problem but can not fix it in the wind tunnel, meaning they have to use practice sessions for testing.


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