Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton raised a lot of eyebrows following his explosive tirade over his team radio in the closing stages of the Dutch Grand Prix last Sunday. However, team principal Toto Wolff said that they are prepared to be the "trash bin" for the driver in such emotional situations during the race.

Furthermore, Wolff explained that while their strategy seemed bizarre for Hamilton and members of the audience at that time, he and the rest of the Mercedes garage weighed their options and chose the best route they believed they had.

For those unfamiliar, Hamilton lambasted his team after being the only driver in the top three not to come into the pits for new tyres during a late safety car period at the Zandvoort circuit. Mercedes opted to keep him out to hold track position while championship leader Max Verstappen was called in by the Red Bull Racing team. Likewise, Hamilton's teammate George Russel also came in for fresh tyres.

In a situation reminiscent of the Abu Dhabi debacle that cost Hamilton the 2021 title, he was again left like a sitting duck during the restart. Verstappen easily ate him up, and so did Russell. Soon, even Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc overtook him for the final podium spot.

"I can't believe you guys f***** sc***ed me", said Hamilton over his team radio.

Wolff spoke to Sky Sports and said that the outburst did not bother him at all. "First of all, we had a trash bin for the driver," he said, explaining that certain reactions are expected in high pressure situations. "It's highly emotional. You're that close, you're bracing for the win and then you're eaten up," Wolff added, shedding light at Hamilton's mindset at the time.

"So it's clear that every emotion comes out and as a driver, you're in a cockpit, you're alone. You don't see what's happening."

The Austrian then went on to defend the team's decision to leave Hamilton out. He said that they took the risk because they believed they could have given the Briton the chance to win.

However, they were not able to accurately determine how the new tyres would behave against the older ones on Hamilton's Mercedes. "He had a tyre that was five laps old from the medium, holding position was the right thing to do. At the end, it didn't work out for him but I'd rather take the risk to win the race with Lewis rather than finish second and third," Wolff concluded, as quoted by Planet F1.

By the end of the race, Hamilton had cooled down enough and thanked his team over the radio. He acknowledged that they had been more competitive in the Dutch GP than they have even been all season. The whiff of victory had not doubt been a factor in his frustration.

The seven-time world champion said that he was "on the edge of breaking point with emotions" as he found himself with the possibility of recording his first victory for 2022.

Nevertheless, it was a positive showing for the team overall. They were competitive against the Red Bulls and at some points better than the Ferraris, which is a big leap from where they were at the start of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and George Russell (right) pose alongside Mercedes chief Toto Wolff Steve Etherington/MERCEDES-BENZ via AFP