Windsor surprised by Hamilton: 'I can't believe he did that'

F1 News

Windsor surprised by Hamilton letting Russell pass in Japan
8 April at 12:25

It was an extraordinary image: Lewis Hamilton asking his team to pass his teammate, George Russell. Peter Windsor was also surprised by the seven-time world champion's action, he says in his analysis on YouTube after the race.

Overall, the race in Japan was already a disappointing one for Mercedes. Only eight points were taken, leaving the team in fourth place in the constructors' championship, with just 34 points. The gap to number three, McLaren, is already 35 points.

Windsor did not see Hamilton's action coming

Hamilton asked his team during the race whether he should let Russell pass him. Windsor says: "Quite early in the race, shortly after George had said, I got terrible tyre vibration. I can feel it through the steering. There's something weird going on about a lap later, Lewis is there saying, "oh, shall I let George past?" And he did. I just can't believe he just slowed and let George pass going into the chicane."

He added: "And that was because Lewis had picked up a bit of damage at the restart and got a lot of understeer. But it turns out, so did George have a lot of understeer at that point. And you've got to wonder how much damage effect there was anyway, because when Lewis eventually got onto a set of hards at the end of the race, lighter fuel, and everybody was quite quick on that hard tyre, he was quite good, he was quite quick, and he was able to catch George when he was fighting with Oscar Piastri reasonably efficiently."

Windsor continued: "It was a very odd thing for Lewis, out of character thing for Lewis to do at that stage of the race, given how reluctant he's always been in the past to give in to team orders and to let George pass, especially with Nico as well, obviously. So it was just a very acquiescent Lewis Hamilton we saw in the early stages of the race, which was a bit uncomfortable to see."