Mercedes explains late stop Hamilton: 'Would have been seventh or eighth'

14-10-2021 20:35 | Updated: 14-10-2021 22:54
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Mercedes explains late stop Hamilton: 'Would have been seventh or eighth'

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth at the Turkish Grand Prix and lost the lead in the championship to Max Verstappen. During the race, Hamilton thought he could drive to the end on the same set of tyres, but Mercedes explains how bad it could have been.

Due to his new combustion engine, the Briton started from P11 and had to fight his way back through the field. Eight laps before the finish Hamilton was brought in by his team. According to James Allison, it was a case of better late than never.

"The best time to have stopped would have been around the [Lap] 36, 37 mark, that was when Valtteri [Bottas, who eventually won the race] and Verstappen stopped. Had Lewis done the same and then treated his tyres nice and gently, then in all likelihood he would have come in a strong fourth, maybe be able to pressurise [Sergio] Perez for third and perhaps overtake him. That would have been optimum", Allison is quoted on the official site of F1.

Pace would have been very bad

Allison continued: "We stayed out for longer than that hoping that the track would go dry. By the time we realised we should have made that stop then and wanted to cut our losses, it was about lap 41. By the time we realised that we should have made that stop then and we were looking to cut our losses, it was round about Lap 41 –and that too would have been okay, that would have been a fourth-place type of stop. In the end, we pushed on a bit longer than that, another nine laps with the tyres degrading all the while."

Mercedes' data looked bad. "The car’s pace by then would be so sufficiently poor that we were looking at something that was somewhere in the region of seventh, eighth place, based on the way in which the tyres were progressively degrading.”

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