Site logo

Hamilton critical of Mercedes strategy... again


While it might please the sport's owners, who, let's face it, come from a media background, there are times when one wonders whether Formula One is really the 'pinnacle of motorsport' or just another daytime soap opera.

Seemingly week after week we are now treated to Charles Leclerc complaining that "it's not fair", Max Verstappen essentially saying 'I can do it but he can't, drivers snitching on rivals and Lewis Hamilton questioning his team's tactics.

Indeed, it was somewhat ironic yesterday that as Mercedes celebrated an unprecedented sixth successive constructor's title, Hamilton, who is one the verge of his own sixth crown, was criticising his team for, among other things, its lack of guidance.

For the third successive race the Briton openly called his team's strategy into question, first asking why he was pitted three laps after his teammate, then why Mercedes had elected to fit mediums as opposed to hards, and finally, in the wake of the switch to mediums, not being guided to manage his tyres better as he sought to overhaul Sebastian Vettel, who, like Valtteri Bottas, was one a two-stop strategy.

"That was just a f***-up," the Briton complained to his engineer, Pete Bonnington. "How have I lost that much time? I am basically out of the race."

In the moments after the race, the Briton's mood was no better, in a testy trackside interview with Paul di Resta, when asked if he is expecting to be battling his teammate for the remaining races, Hamilton snapped: "It makes no difference because we've been racing freely all year".

And when asked, at the subsequent FIA press conference, if he was kicking himself after making the second stop, wondering whether he could have got to the end of the race on the mediums, he replied: "Honestly, I'm thinking of what I'm going to eat tonight...

"I'm thinking about I can't wait to get back to the UK to see my niece and nephew," he added.

"What's done is done," he continued. "Naturally we'll go and sit and talk to the engineers and strategists. I think today could have been done better. There's multiple scenarios during the year when that's been the case but nonetheless, Valtteri did the job. I'd have had to have driven differently in that second stint, stretch out as far as you can... naturally when I was in the lead I thought about staying out but by the time I'd already pushed so much to close the gap to Seb... we should have at least got a one-two today but I think the strategy wasn't optimum for me. It was naturally optimum for Valtteri but yeah, there were a lot scenarios.

"Valtteri had a very good gap to the first stint. He didn't have to stop early because he clearly had a good enough gap. They should have stopped me before Seb to undercut him but it's always an afterthought. Often the first car gets priority which is always how we've always had it but we can do better as a team, to make sure we score more one-twos, so we'll just work hard on that and there's no love lost or anything like that. We'll be pushing hard."

Asked if he could have got to the end of the race on that one-stop, he said: "With better guidance I think I probably could have.

"They said, when they put the tyre on, that we are going a two stop because the degradation is high. So then, just the direction I was given in terms of having to try and close the gap to Seb. So every time I was having to close this gap, so used the tyres quite a lot. So, in how I was using them, there was no way I was going to make it to the end on that.

"If I had, from the beginning, said we're just going to eke it out and just see if we could manage it, then I could have just driven differently and, potentially, held it to the end - but all in hindsight."

"I am not hurt at all," said Toto Wolff, when asked about Hamilton's comments. "Every driver is keen to maximise every opportunity to win and when that doesn't happen it is frustrating."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Suzuka, here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



1. Posted by DRAGON F1, 14/10/2019 17:48

"Just to add that I am quite sure Lewis would be even more angry with his team when he watches the race again on tv and he sees that his team had asked him to pit a second time with only 10 laps to go and ALL his tyres were still in good shape at 70%!!

As I've said, Mercedes wanted to make sure that Bottas won the race, and to do that they sacrificed a second place for Lewis!!

Well, the good thing is that I doubt this will happen again, hopefully!?


Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by DRAGON F1, 14/10/2019 17:20

"Lewis is right to complain about his race strategy by his team!

Lewis could have won the race if he didn't come in for a second stop, but Mercedes wanted Bottas to win in Japan just to be fairer to him because of their screw-up on Lewis's race again in Singapore and having to ask Bottas to slow down!

This chief strategist at Mercedes is a bit rubbish imo. He usually gets it wrong, by relying on things such as a safety car, VSC or something else. Mercedes have been winning so far because of Lewis Hamilton and a lot of luck despite the strategists bad calls!

Lewis should get a better race engineer even if Mercedes won't get rid of their chief strategist!
To be honest, most of the time, we can usually make better calls than this strategist! He normally make Lewis do a long first stint even though 90% of the time the undercut works every time!!? "

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Jet Jockey, 14/10/2019 13:25

"I have to agree with Lewis here...

With 10 laps to go, Lewis was is the lead and he was 9 seconds ahead of Valtteri with Seb a further 9 seconds behind.

Neither Valtteri or Seb were catching Lewis at a rate of close to 1 second a lap that would have been needed just to be in his gearbox let alone pass him!

Assuming Valtteri caught up to him and managed to pass him on track, the Lewis would have finished in second place because there is no way Seb would have made up the almost 19 second deficit to Lewis to pass him and even if he did, Lewis would have finished third which is where he finished anyway after making the additional pit stop."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Lakota, 14/10/2019 12:27

"Don't worry Lewis. Your going to be champion again. Just not by the points you think. That is done by the powers of F1"

Rating: Negative (-3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Anthony, 14/10/2019 8:27

"It’s such a shame that Lewis is such a pain. It detracts from his brilliance as a driver."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2023. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms