Hamilton finished sixth behind Mercedes teammate George Russell after the 24-year-old ran a long first stint and capitalised on the Safety Car by making a cheap pit stop to switch onto fresh medium tyres. 

Russell found himself directly behind Hamilton on old hards at the restart and used his tyre advantage to pass the seven-time world champion. He had to overtake Hamilton twice after his first move was deemed to be off-track, but the Briton easily breezed past to continue his consistent start to the season. 

Hamilton was left frustrated to have lost out as a result of the timing of a Safety Car for the second time in three races. 

“The strategy’s not been kind to me, man,” Hamilton bemoaned over the radio to race engineer Peter Bonnington. 

Hamilton and Bonnington engaged in a back-and-forth debate over whether he should follow Russell in pitting for new tyres but Hamilton was concerned about losing track position and insisted Mercedes should make the final call

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"You make the decision, don't make me make the decision,” Hamilton eventually said, to which Bonnington replied: “OK, stay out.” 

Asked after the race about the exchange and whether he could have pitted, Hamilton replied: “Honestly, I really don’t know. In that scenario I have no clue where everyone is. 

“So when the team say ‘it is your choice’ - I don’t have the information to make the decision. That’s what your job is, make the decision for me. You have all the details, and I don’t. 

“That’s what you rely on the guys for. But today they gave it [the decision] to me and I didn’t understand it. 

“Was just a bit unfortunate under the Safety Car but like I said at least we got points. We’re finishing, the reliability was good. I am excited at some stage to take a step forwards, which we haven’t yet.” 

The result has moved Hamilton above Lando Norris and up to sixth in the championship, though he has fallen 23 points behind fourth-placed Russell. 

Hamilton’s damage concerns  at F1 Miami GP

Hamilton reported concerns about damage over the radio following a first lap clash with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso as the pair banged wheels coming out of Turn 1. 

Despite getting a good launch off the line, Hamilton lost momentum when he braked early and locked up to avoid ramming into the back of Sergio Perez’s Red Bull. 

That allowed AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and then Alonso to sneak past as Hamilton dropped two positions to eighth, before he quickly fought his way back up to sixth. 

Hamilton was adamant he had picked up some damage from the contact with Alonso and Mercedes had to reassure him the data was showing that his car was fine.

“The car definitely didn’t feel the same as it did on the laps to the grid,” Hamilton explained. “I am sure they will check it. It was quite a hard hit. 

“I was doing the best that I could, was just unfortunate, but we got good points as a team. We take them and we move on.”