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Mercedes considered pitting Hamilton

NEWS STORY
31/10/2016

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed that Lewis Hamilton's hopes of the title almost went up in smoke yesterday, literally.

Following the lock-up heading into Turn 1 that was to see the Briton take to the grass in a cloud of tyre smoke and exit at Turn 3 , the resultant damage to his tyres caused a critical vibration.

"On the formation lap I had a glazed front right brake," said the Briton after the race. "I couldn't wake it up, so, I had 500°C in the left front and 150-200°C in the right front.

"So, I went into Turn One (at the start) and the right front eventually woke up and just locked," he continued. "I was carrying such speed I was lucky I didn't go in the wall or something.

"After that I had just the biggest vibration, I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it in the first stint. Honestly I thought I had to stop, the vibration was so big I would barely see. It was really nice when I got some new, fresh tyres, and it was much smoother."

However, Toto Wolff subsequently revealed the extent of the damage incurred at Turn 1.

"The vibration metrics were scary from the beginning," he admitted. "Simon (Cole, Mercedes' track engineer) and I had a private conversation on the radio whether we should pit him for safety reasons.

"In any other race we would have pitted him and lost the race," he confirmed. "We kept him out there in order to not throw away the championship for him.

"Every single lap, every single straight, we monitored the vibrations. Our team did a fantastic job of keeping that under control and then we pitted him a bit earlier because the vibration metrics were going sky high and a suspension failure could have easily happened.

"It was not a comfortable position we found ourselves in, weighing up the championship versus a failure of the suspension.”

Not to mention the outcry on social media.

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