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Hamilton didn't want to gamble on second pit stop

NEWS STORY
09/05/2022

Lewis Hamilton has defended his decision not to make a late pit stop, the seven-time champion admitting that it felt like a risk too many.

When teammate George Russell finally made his sole pit stop on Lap 40, under the safety car, now on fresh mediums he was soon able to reel in and subsequently pass his Mercedes teammate, both subsequently benefitting from a mistake by Valtteri Bottas.

With the safety car still on track, Hamilton was asked if he wanted to make a second stop, having switched from mediums to hards on Lap 22.

"You tell me, man!" he replied. "I don't want to lose a place to George."

Speaking after the race, the Briton explained his call.

"When you're out there you don't have all the information," he said. "You don't know where everyone is, where you'll come out, you don't have the picture they have on the screen.

"When you're given the responsibility to make the decision it feels like your gambling and I don't like that," he admitted. "I was like, 'you guys make the decision'.

"Either way, we've just been unfortunate with the timing of the safety car today."

Russell subsequently passed his teammate but went wide in the process and had to give the position back. However, with both Mercedes passing Bottas on Lap 48, a lap later Russell passed his teammate again to claim fifth.

"Strategy has not been kind to me," said Hamilton in a radio message to his team.

Speaking after the race, while praising his teammate's performance, Hamilton said that like his teammate he too should have started the race on hards as opposed to mediums.

"George obviously did a great job in that stint," said the seven-time champion. "He was on the better tyre to start with, the hard tyre was the better tyre, so in hindsight maybe we could have started on the hard tyre.

"He did a great job to recover from that position and get the points," he added, "fifth and sixth is good points today for the team."

Asked if he needed a change in luck, he replied: "Yeah, I'm waiting for it. Until then I'll keep working as hard as I can, working with the team. We got good points as a team today."

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1. Posted by kenji, 10/05/2022 0:06

" I think that the current situation within Mercedes is certainly showing how the ' American biscuit breaks up into many pieces' and Hamilton is starting to go the same way. Bottas was always judged by the camp followers using the same car analogy. Now that the situation is reversed the same people find it hard to follow the song sheet lyrics....used for the past 5 years!. This cliche about the potential in the car 'once it's unlocked' seems to be wearing thin. Surely what they are getting, performance related, is 100% of what that car, in it's its current build is capable of? To get more performance from the car major changes need to be made therefore the original car is a dud....in it's its current form. I am reminded of the struggles that Vettel had in 2014 when Ricciardo burst onto the scene...."

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2. Posted by Rock Doc, 09/05/2022 16:15

"Hamilton's demeanor in the interviews after the race seemed to say it all. It was a tough race for all the drivers but Hamilton seemed beat, while Russell seemed to be relatively bouncing.

It really has to hurt to see Russell come from far back on the grid and beat him in the same car. Was Russell lucky, yes. But then Russell put himself in a position to take advantage.

The next few races will be critical for Hamilton to re-establish himself for the rest of the season.

But again we focus on Hamilton when we should really be talking about Russell. Russell is showing some great racing and I hope they can get closer to the front to join in the Ferrari and Red Bulls."

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3. Posted by VC10-1103, 09/05/2022 13:50

"And how many times in the past has Lewis questioned over the radio why a pitstop was necessary. He can't have it both ways."

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