Hamilton stopped earlier than planned: "Opportunity presented itself"

16-09-2021 12:11 | Updated: 16-09-2021 13:37
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Hamilton stopped earlier than planned: Opportunity presented itself

The pit stops at the Italian Grand Prix did not go as hoped for by everyone. This was also the reason for the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, which probably wouldn't have happened if both drivers had made a normal stop.

Mercedes wanted to take advantage of Verstappen's slow stop

The strategy also turned out to be different than predicted. For example, Hamilton came in around the same time that his competitors made their stop, despite the fact that he started on a harder compound. Mercedes-engineers Andrew Shovlin and James Vowles explain the choice in a video on the YouTube channel of the team.

The explanation is simple: Hamilton was not fast enough to continue longer on the hard tyres without losing much time. "The degradation of the medium tyre was fast, and both Verstappen and both McLarens started to lose time," Vowles begins. "Hamilton was slightly less affected by that on the hard tyres, but he had been pushing hard for twenty laps so those tyres weren't new anymore."

After Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo's stops, Mercedes wanted to see how fast Hamilton could go in free-flow but concluded that they would not be fast enough to stay ahead of their opponents. "We had predicted that we would come into the track well ahead of them, that was an opportunity that presented itself because of Verstappen's slow stop. Unfortunately, we had a slow stop ourselves and ended up right next to it, rather than in front," Vowles said.

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