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Hamilton explains that solo start

NEWS STORY
02/08/2021

Lewis Hamilton has shed light on what is surely one of the strangest scenes ever witnessed in F1...

Heading out to the grid for the restart of the race, everyone was on intermediate tyres.

"It's definitely going to be dry and quick," reported Hamilton during the course of the formation lap.

Moments later, George Russell added: "At this rate everybody is going to box."

However, with no word from his team, Hamilton continued on to the grid, while behind Esteban Ocon led the rest of the field into the pits to change tyres and start from the pitlane, leaving 'Lewis no mates' alone on the grid anticipating the start.

As he raced off into the distance on inters, with the field in hot pursuit, all sporting fresh mediums, Hamilton sighed: "Yeh, it's dry..."

"Box, box, box, box," came the reply.

Pitting at the end of the lap Hamilton rejoined the race in last position, and so began a long, hard slog back to his more familiar place in the order of things.

"We all started on those inters, and through the formation lap I was just giving the team information," explained Hamilton at race end. "I mean, it was dry through all the corners and I kept telling them 'it's dry, dry, dry, dry' but they said just to stay out.

"I don't really understand," he admitted, "but I'm sure it's definitely a mistake from us... but we win and lose as a team and we bear the burden of the mistake together and we just keep fighting, so the team did an amazing job with the strategy, with pitstops, and I just had to make it work out there.

"It was flat chat the entire race and very, very hard with tyre temperatures and all that but nevertheless, but I enjoyed it."

"To be honest, I think we did absolutely the right thing," insisted Toto Wolff. "There's no one in the team that would have done otherwise.

"As a leading car it's always difficult to take the decision," he continued, "and if you're the only one pitting then you come out last and there is the difficulty of getting out of the pit stand because everybody's pitting, and obviously, it played against us.

"These things can happen," he added. "I stand absolutely behind the decision to stay out , and that's why I'm fine. I think we could have gambled as a leading car and come in also with a disastrous outcome and if that happened people would have also said that we had made a mistake. That was the right decision."

Check out our Sunday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Pavlo, 03/08/2021 23:15

"To add here - Mercedes has a first box and by that time no second driver to make a gap, therefore there was a risk of losing a position just by letting other drivers drive by."

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

2. Posted by Pavlo, 03/08/2021 22:53

"@jrbbacct50 - I disagree, pitting if no one pits was actually very risky.
Reality of Budapest is that Lewis spent many laps behind Alonso having 3 seconds advantage on the same tires. Difference between slicks and inters may have been comparable, but slicks work well only on a thin drying line, so while being obviously faster on a free track, they most probably would make absolutely impossible to overtake. Then Lewis could have been stuck behind a single car gambling to continue on inters for 5 laps, allowing leaders to drive away in couple of laps and change to slicks.
Add to that a possibility of a mistake during the overtaking like in Imola."

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3. Posted by jrbbacct50, 03/08/2021 16:04

"I don't know about standing by that decision. Think about if it happened in reverse and knowing it was dry so not a danger for slicks. Lewis pits and everyone else stays out. In that scenario, Lewis would have had even an easier time than he did with everyone on a very slow tire and having to come into the pits much earlier.

Pitting and all pit or Pitting and the only one to pit, either way was better than not pitting and being the only one."

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4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 02/08/2021 14:46

"Was for sure ballsy and made for an exciting race. One of the best races of the season."

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5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 02/08/2021 11:54

"Stop staring at computer screens and look out of the window!"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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