Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Mercedes “sorry” for Hamilton’s race-losing pit stop

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, 2015Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff apologised to Lewis Hamilton after a pit strategy error cost him an almost-certain victory in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton was leading comfortably when Mercedes chose to bring him into the pits during a late Safety Car period. It proved a misjudgement which cost him the race, allowing Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel past.

“There is nothing else to do than apologise to Lewis,” said Wolff, “it was a misjudgement in the heat of the moment”.

“I’m sorry for Lewis that we made the mistake and I’m sorry for Lewis. It should have been a perfect one-two today. We made a decision and it was the wrong decision. We need to analyse it and to apologise to Lewis.”

“I’m sure we’ll sit down afterwards and try and think of ways we can improve,” said Hamilton after the podium ceremony.

“It was not the easiest of races,” he added. “The team has been amazing all year long. We win and lose together. I’m just grateful for the job they did. Congratulations to Nico and Sebastian.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 204 comments on “Mercedes “sorry” for Hamilton’s race-losing pit stop”

    1. Lewis was very mature and took it like a man. No hissy fits. And very magnanimous too. Next time Lewis.

      1. And what was the way he hit the 3rd position stand?

        1. Trenthamfolk (@)
          24th May 2015, 16:36

          happens all the time…

          1. Michael Brown
            24th May 2015, 18:11

            Carelessly? Plenty of drivers push it that far by accident all of the time.

      2. His interview was mature. But parking at portier and steaming into the 3rd place sign had me nervous in my bed.

        1. I actually think he just stopped at Portier to gather his thoughts and what a spectacular view too to gather your thoughts too.
          I would like to see how he bounces back from this. If he responds like Monza-Abu Dhabi last year, it makes him a more deserving champion, don’t you think?

          1. I actually think he just stopped at Portier to gather his thoughts and what a spectacular view too to gather your thoughts too.

            Looking at a guardrail, best view in Monaco :)

            1. There are rules… or used to be about drivers stopping on slow down laps. I remember Damon having to go to Motorsport council when he picked up a flag at end of GB race in 94. Silly rule.

              Anyway many are saying a race decided by a pit stop is boring and wrong etc etc yet we all love Monaco 92 which was only close because of a bad pit stop. Not many say that was rubbish because Mansell should of won it hands down. Its racing, it happens.

              Also i think its time the Press and his team stop walking on egg shelfs with lewis after these sort of things. Its happened and happening to every driver each weekend, no need to treat him like a toddler about to throw a wobbly. He is a man and I’m sure can handle it.

        2. Drivers hit those 1/2/3 boards all the time; remember, they can’t see their own front wing or nosetip ;)

          1. Not quite that much though. He can’t see the pitbox either but they manage to pull up to within centimetres. And he meets those signs every week.

            I see it as him getting that last ounce of excess frustration out; or him zoning out slightly mulling over the debacle.

            1. When pitting the drivers are aiming for a marker board that one of the pit crew holds right over their wheel. So it’s a lot easier.

              All the same, I certainly wouldn’t blame him if there was a bit of frustration involved. What matters is he did the mature thing and got his head sorted out before the media had a chance to get him on tape saying something for their headlines.

            2. @elbasque There is a yellow line that extends out of the pitbox to the side. The drivers can see that line and know where the put the front wheel.

            3. I meant grid marking to be honest, but I’d been up over a day by that point so it seemed I only had about 60% of my vocabulary to hand.

            4. pastaman (@)
              26th May 2015, 3:45

              @elbasque, ok but there are lines to the side on the grid markings as well.

        3. @mickey18
          If that made you nervous, then maybe there’s problem with you.

      3. He handled it better than I would’ve done. I felt like punching someone after that race.

      4. Given Lewis’ emotional intensity, I thought he did a incredible job controlling his emotions, and gave a very mature interview. Massive, massive kudos to him for the maturity he has worked so hard to develop. By the movements of his car, you knew he was absolutely furious. But instead of taking him several hours or even days to cool down as in the past, now he was able to master himself within minutes. Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve, and his body language showed how frustrated, furious, even betrayed he felt. But the moment he was on mike, he was the consummate professional. Well done, Lewis. With emotional mastery like that, you will be champion this year. Lets not forget, he still leads the points.

        1. Lewis even had the presence of mind to avoid the reporters fishing comments. Two races in a row his team has slowed him down. This is beginning to look a lot like last year with respect to reliability keeping Lewis from winning substantially more races.

    2. What a knucklehead decision. Leading the race, tires apparently in decent condition relative to the others, and handful of laps to go on a track where overtaking is next to impossible and they blink first. Trying to be too smart and it cost Hamilton not just a race but one all drivers want to win.
      I guess Lewis can console himself by looking at his new contract.

      1. Champion F1 team – $300M
        Exceptional Driver – $150M
        Special preparations for Chairman and VIPs -$150K

        Blowing a perfect 1-2 finish in front of Chairman and entire world with a sh!t headed strategy call – Priceless.

    3. Mercedes will always be sorry , they got the win anyway.

      Its just sad because its TWICE now that the strategy group has robbed Lewis of a win in the last 8 races (brazil last year) .

      Well I am gutted but if I know Lewis , he would probably take 12 of the last 13 victories now , he will leave no stone unturned.

      1. @Prab, don’ t forgot Malaysia

        1. People forget how Merc cocked up that whole Malaysia weekend. It’s almost as if they were championing that ridiculous theory that “Ferrari’s tires just work better than ours in the heat”. They showed their hand in Q1 and Ferrari planned around that.

      2. Garage: “Stay out”
        Hamilton: “My tires will be gone.”
        Garage: “okay come in.”

        Not exact but am I the only one that remembers Hamilton questioned the call to stay out after he was told to? It was on the radio live and for everyone to hear…

        Stop blaming Merc. Hamilton has plenty of blame in this situation. Certainly not 100% as the garage should have held firm but they did give him the correct call to begin with.

        1. I do remember a scenario last year in Singapore where Vettel wanted to come in and Red Bull refused adamantly. However, Hamilton did clarify that statement that he saw Merc out in the pits from a big screen and thought Nico and Vettel had pitted and that them on newer tires with a bunched up field post SC, he would have trouble fending him off. I’m sure if they told Hamilton, Nico is staying out too, he wouldn’t even have asked to pit after that.

          1. I agree with that completely. There was a lot of confusion everywhere BUT looking at what happened, if everyone else HAD pitted and Hamilton had not, he still would have won most likely.

        2. If the team told him that he would lose the race if he come in, he would stick with his tyres the way they were.

          The driver inside the car wants to drive on the best conditions possible. If they could they would stop for new tyres 5 or 6 times during a race.

          The team made a mistake with calculations and made the guy think that going for new tyres was a viable option when in truth it wasn’t.

          The team is to blame, yes.

        3. Even if the pit stop was unnecessary, that’s hardly the point. Hamilton may have thought it was a good idea, but that was because the team never told him he’d lose first place.

    4. Sounds like if anyone at all knew what speed the cars would be doing on track, they were shouted down.

    5. If anything, Merc should get the head of either Toto / Paddy / Nikki..

      1. Michael Brown
        24th May 2015, 18:13

        All three, ideally.

        1. Where the hell has this come from? I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest anyone else in their place could have done a better job over the past few years. This is one mistake not even made by them, most likely made through a mixture of Lewis and the head of strategy at Mercedes.

      2. Nah, it’s not Ferrari ;)

    6. Bring back Brawwwn for god’s sake

      1. Lewis should fire Bonnington and bring back Brawn to be his race engineer. Lewis could probably get better service from his brother Nicolas. What exactly is the function of Lewis Hamilton’s race engineer if Lewis cannot trust or rely on him for good information. I have been listening to what Peter has been saying the last few races with a close ear, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how he adds any real value to Lewis Hamilton’s race strategy.

        1. Because you don’t hear the whole story. Just the broadcast and small amount of released portions of radio.

        2. Chris Lawson
          25th May 2015, 19:46

          1) Lewis doesn’t get to choose his race engineer – the team do

          2) we hear about 5% of the actual communication betweern them so not exactly a compelling case to fire him

          3) When everything goes perfect and Lewis wins, nobody comes on here saying what a great job Bonnington did with the strategy

          4) Lewis hardly covers himslef in glory with the eay he speaks back to Bonnington over the radio – particularly when things aren’t going well!

          5) It was also Lewis’ call to come in

    7. They need a lot more than a “sorry, mate”. Honestly, they covered from something that wasn’t even happening, and had no reason to do anything. But they did it.

      I still don’t get it. Even the theory behind it is hard to understand…

      1. But what if Vettel pitted and Lewis stayed out. They would be risking his position although it is tough to overtake . They Just tried to be extra cautious covering the Ferrari. If it was other way round and Vettel squeezed past even then people would blame Mercedes for the call.

        1. If Vettel had pitted he would have come out way down the order and stood no chance of catching Rosberg let alone Hamilton. Mercedes were starting at shadows and trying to cover a situation that just wasn’t there. If I’d made such a massive cock-up in my job I’d probably be looking for a different job tomorrow.

          1. @ceevee the safety car will bunch up the field, so coming way down the order does not happen. Also only Rosberg, Vettel, Kavyt and Roikkenen did not pit in the Safety car cycle. So the the majority strategy was to pit. It was not like Lewis was the only person to Pit.

            While in the hindsight we are all master strategists , it is very much obvious Mercedes strategy team were trying to cover a particular threat scenario which obviously did not materialize. So I would give atleast 10% of doubt to Mercedes strategy team.

            1. I will be interested to see @KeithCollantine analysis

        2. @tmax Still not good enough reason to pit him. Lewis has Nico behind him as buffer, also he has shown he can go much quicker than both of them. Even if Rosberg or Vettel pits, he will have the Red Bulls and Kimi to get past thru first. Red Bulls wont pit if Vettel pits since they have 2 cars and Kvyat has proved they can hold a Ferrari. Kimi wont pit or they risking he out of points because it means they need to stack the pit with Vettel ahead of him. Also the fact that this is Monaco where track position is very valuable, there’s really no reason to pit Lewis.

        3. Mercedes out-thought themselves. Again. Track position at Monaco is paramount. It is worth nearly everything. There is no scenario other than mechanical failure where a champion driver like Lewis would have been in danger from Vettel on fresh tires. If Vettel had pitted and Lewis hadn’t, he would likely have lost a couple of positions, to Kvyat and possibly also Raikkonen, and it would have taken him too long to pass those guys and work his way up to Nico, then he would have had to pass Nico, which was never going to happen on Nico’s home track– he is an experienced driver and would have known how to keep Vettel behind tires or no tires.

          Very stupid move by Mercedes pit wall. Very stupid. They get no benefit of the doubt from me. And from now on they put even more of a mental and psychological burden on Lewis– to win, not only does he have to drive the car faster than anyone else while managing all the technology on the wheel, but he will feel the need to stay on top of the race strategy (including knowing where his competition is position and tire-wise) so that he can veto stupid pit wall decisions if necessary.

          1. Unfortunately their car is making up the difference for such bad strategy, so there is little incentive to do anything about it except come up with excuses and maintain the status quo.

        4. But Hamilton did pit and Vettel did not (if he did he would be nowhere), comment makes no esp if Vettel had pitted. Hamilton should have stayed out, ridiculous decision. Sometimes I’m sure F1 is working to an unbelievable pre-subscribed script.

      2. @fer-no65

        Hamilton was told to stay out and he questioned the call, informing the garage how poor his tires were going to be. After a moment he was told to come in.

        Sure blame someone in the garage because they should have all the information but he was very much told to stay out and he had to throw his 2 cents.

        I give equal blame to everyone on the team.

        1. @neiana you might be right. Lewis has been very bad at handling strategies in the past, so it’d be another example I guess.

          1. Seems a bit harsh in this scenario. He gave feedback to the team as to the state of his tyres, but it was completely the team’s responsibility to see the big picture and let him know that pitting wasn’t necessary since others were not pitting and his tyres were (more than likely) in no worse shape than Nico’s.

            He’s been criticised on the one hand for questioning decisions and on the other for not taking the initiative and over-riding the team. The truth is, he (or any driver) can’t be expected to evaluate this kind of decision where they can’t see the big picture – that’s the team’s job, pure and simple.

      3. They need a lot more than a “sorry, mate”

        @fer-no65 I reckon 90 million quid over 3 years might do it :-)

        1. the team only need to say sorry once. Like when a driver ditches it he only needs to say it once if it happens rarely.

          & in both cases they don’t really need to say it publicly either. All this constantly saying sorry every time lewis loses a races makes it look like there isn’t a real leader in that team…. Which there isn’t, they are still riding the wave that Brawn left them.

          Brawn/Symonds and Co would say yep bad call lets talk about it in the briefing learn from it & move on to next one. Thats it over. The way Merc handle things their drivers brew and it hangs on for the next race (Spain-Moncao 14 & Hungary-Spa-Monza 14)

          Also doesn’t help Lauda throwing his 2 cents in when it isn’t really needed from a management point of view

    8. If Mercedes had any shame one of their senior team members should resign today. It wasn’t a mistake it was incompetence.

      1. +1000.

        1. It looks more like a professional sabotage more than anything else. I dont see the professionalism in the action. It looks like a huge professional mis-judgement!

      2. Their Head of strategy must fall on his sword, nothing else will do!!

      3. Sure blame someone in the garage because they should have all the information but he was very much told to stay out and he had to throw his 2 cents about his tires.

        I give equal blame to everyone on the team.

        1. @neiana Mercedes had all of the information, Hamilton did not.

          If armchair strategists and commentators could see that it was the wrong call BEFORE he’d even reached his pit box, the Mercedes strategists have no excuse. One of the most stupid decisions I’ve witnessed in F1.

      4. Hamilton is a senior team member, and he was the one who told the team he needed to come it. So you’re saying he should resign?

        1. And the team should have say it STAY OUT. WE DID THE MATH, STAY OUT
          But that’s not what the team did. So, it was a pathetic mistake.

      5. Overreacting…

      6. Someone should loose their job because someone didn’t win? Their other car won, and Lewis will win many more races with the same strategy guys, get over yourself.

    9. They should be very sorry, it was a catastrophic error for Lewis’ team.

    10. This whole episode reminds me of Deedee pushing buttons in Dexter’s Laboratory. They had absolutely no idea what they were doing.

      1. Exactly what I was thinking.

    11. The Mercedes strategists need to be sacked. Not the first time they have made a really bad call. Lewis was graceful in ”defeat”. He deserved the win today.

      1. @ultimateuzair Yeah, like how Aldo Costa had to be from Ferrari in 2010…

        1. Aldo Costa is a strategist?…

      2. No but his coffee is good, mine’s a moka!

    12. Have to say, hats off to Hamilton for being mature about it this time. Well done.

    13. ColdFly F1 (@)
      24th May 2015, 15:36

      Very interesting comments by Lauda on German TV:
      – very angry at Mercedes management;
      – ‘too many cooks..’
      – disappointed with Lowe for not stepping in.

    14. Why they didn´t instructe Rosberg to slow down, Vettel could pass and Lewis was first…

        1. @gdewilde It’s good point – once Lewis was pitting, they could have told Nico to slow down a little. As Vettel would not have been allowed to overtake, there would have been no risk of doing so, and ensured a Mercedes 1-2. I’m actually surprised some of the professional analysis hasn’t picked up on this either…

        2. @gdewilde think he mean’t Vettel couldn’t pass as they were under SC

      1. Good point Antonio.

        Also why was it not necessary according to team for Nico to pit.

    15. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      24th May 2015, 15:39

      Yes, Mercedes can fix their mistake by doing the same to Nico next time the chance appears.

      1. LOL that is what they are going to do precisely. Watch out the next few races !!!!

      2. Please tell me that’s a joke?

        1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
          24th May 2015, 16:05

          @davef1 no it isn’t. They don’t want Lewis, the real deal in their team, to be disappointed or fuming.

          1. They are NOT going to ruin a race for Rosberg just to “make it up” to Hamilton. Could you imagine the screaming if they did that, Hamilton took the lead, and then through no fault of his own a tire goes flat or an engine blows. “Huh. We just gave the race to Ferrari.” Not happening. The best they could do is give Hamilton the preference in pit strategy even if he isn’t leading a race.

          2. Lewis wouldn’t like that. Remember when Mercedes told Rosberg to “cease fire” in 2013 Chinese GP? Lewis was not happy on the podium because he felt Nico deserved 3rd place.

      3. With Hamilton outclassing Rosberg like he is doing this year, this may take a while.

        1. Haha, very true!

        2. Comment of the day.

    16. I do think the driver has to shoulder some of the blame here. If it was so obvious that not pitting was correct, why didn’t the guy driving the car just stay out.

      I dunno, massive blunder by the team, but the driver is the one at the wheel. This coming from a Hamilton fan by the way.

      1. i am not with you on this, but it might have been hamilton going too fast in virtual safety car mode, where he suddenly had a 24 second advantage, that might have pushed the team into making the choice, they probably thought they could put him on easier tyres and still be leading the race, and hold back any potential ferrari pitstop for supersofts.

      2. Being the one at the wheel means you’re the one who doesn’t know where the other cars are, what the gaps are, or what speeds they’re doing.

        1. If you’re in the lead at Monaco with 10 laps to go, track position is king. Clearly with a SC he knows the gap will be nothing, but he’s in the lead with no more stops necessary. Come on.

      3. The pitwall/team have got all the computer power to do the calculation — the driver doesn’t. They obviously thought that they had enough time to be precautionary and get the car back out in first place. They just plain blew it.

        One question: Hamilton’s pit stop didn’t look like the fastest in the world — has anyone got the time?

        1. @paul-a He has 4.0s standing time, which is caused by having to wait a Manor (I think) pass him in pit lane before they can release him.

          1. Thanks — so a “normal” stop of say 2.5-3 secs might have saved him.

            1. The tight confines of old-school Monaco show in microcosm where F1 is getting it wrong on so many levels by putting the racing so much in the hands of the strategists and engineers and not in the drivers. Monaco is not a sanitized Tilkedrome with artificial DRS zones. Old-school racing experience and instinct would have given Mercedes a better risk assessment than their computers, simulations, and calculations, because in the tight confines of an old-school circuit like Monaco, the computers did not reflect the fact that too much could go wrong with the strategy chosen, thus making it the MORE risky choice versus just staying out. They somehow lost sight of the nearly OVERWHELMING advantage of maintaining track position regardless of tire condition and gap. Lewis is the ultimate racer. No way anybody gets around him in Monaco where there is nowhere to pass when he is in P1 with less than 10 laps to go. NO WAY. Their computer models could not account for the way Monaco skewed their risk metrics, and it thus overrated the contribution of their “data analysis” and ignored the driver’s and track characteristics’ contribution. When you have the best driver in the best car on a track where passing is near-impossible, you have to know when it’s time to put the race in his hands and TRUST HIM TO RACE. It’s RACING. I would have bet on Lewis and 40 lap tires around Monaco today, any odds.

      4. It looks like Lewis admits that they told him to stay out but he wanted to pit thinking the others would do the same.

        1. That is catagorically untrue.

          Lewis said he saw on the screen that the pit crew were out for Nico, so when they asked him (Lewis) to pit, he did so under the impression that so where the others.

        2. Any truth to this? Sources?
          Can’t believe it otherwise, really

          1. “I thought the guys behind were pitting so when the team said stay out, I said these tyres would drop in temps and what I was concerned they were on options – so with that thinking I came in with the full confidence that the others had done the same..” motosport.com

            1. Toto Wolff:
              “What a crazy day. I don’t think there has ever been a more bittersweet feeling than this one. We have won the Monaco Grand Prix and we have lost the Monaco Grand Prix all at the same time. First of all, we must apologise to Lewis Hamilton. We win and we lose together and what I am proud of in this team is that we take collective responsibility. But this is a day when we simply have to say sorry to our driver, because our mistake cost him the victory here. What happened? In simple terms, we got our numbers wrong. We thought we had the gap for Lewis to take fresh tyres and come back out in the lead behind the Safety Car, ahead of Nico and covering off any risk of another competitor taking fresh tyres. But the calculation was incorrect and he came out in third place. It was our decision to call him in and our mistake, pure and simple; in these situations, a driver trusts his team. Lewis had driven flawlessly until then and really delivered a perfect weekend, with a stunning pole lap and a masterful race. There’s nothing more to say other than to highlight the grace with which he handled the situation; he was a leader and a true sportsman this afternoon.”

          2. Refer to what N said above you. He saw crew out on the big screen thought they were out for Nico. Didn’t want to have to fight the field on used tires when most were on newer tires. So he pitted.

            1. Ya, he saw and thought …. He should have just listened to the team. Anyway, doesn’t matter what facts are posted about what happened, some fans will still believe what they want. Both team and driver were to blame here.

            2. So basically Nico threw him a dummy, and he swallowed it?

            3. “So basically Nico threw him a dummy, and he swallowed it?”

              No, it was Lewis crew (since they cant put the other drivers tires on), they were out incase he (Lewis) decided to make a pit, before it was actually confirmed, in that very moment he looked at the screen he (Lewis) must have thought it was for Nico since he wasnt confirmed as pitting, an so confirmed his own pit.

              All in all just a load of miscommunication and rash decisions made with wrong data (mercs data was 3 seconds out)

      5. How would the driver know what the gap to the car behind is? If Hamilton had known he’d lose first place he would never have come in. That’s why pit calls like these are made by the team and only by the team.

        Well in this case even the team got it wrong with all their computers, but still.

    17. Strange of Lewis, last year he threw tantrums at the pitwall for not letting him pit, i am sure this time Lewis is equally to blame for this mess

      1. Pray tell, how did you come to such an obtuse conclusion?

    18. Mercedes pit wall is the worst ever I’ve seen.

      1. @eggry even compared to team Enstone’s at Singapore in 2008?

        1. @davidnotcoulthard They were actually geniuses(not clever enough to be caught though), but Mercedes are just unbelievably stupid.

      2. Surely that’s Williams?

      3. This is as bad as what Ferrari did to Fernando in Abu Dhabi when they threw away his WDC in 2010.

        1. That one was only looked bad in hindsight. Ferrari were covering off Webber, who was on a strategy that worked the previous time they tried it.

    19. On German TV Niki Lauda just said this-

      #F1 Lauda revealed, Hamilton complained on radio about his tyres and asked if he should pit. After some discussions he was called in. #AMuS

      1. But really with 8-10 laps left on a track that you cannot pass on he should have just stayed out. It’s not like he was still on the super softs and was approaching the mysterious cliff that makes tyres vanish into thin air. 80% blame the team 20% blame Lewis for not ignoring the team, you think Alonso or Vet would have pitted with 8 laps left?

        1. It seems from the motorsport quote that it was Lewis that ignored their advice to stay out.

          1. No, it does not. Hamilton told them he was worried about the tires, but the team called him in.

    20. hmmmm, a strategy call worthy of admission to the hall of howlers.

    21. Motorsport have him saying
      “I thought the guys behind were pitting so when the team said stay out, I said these tyres would drop in temps and what I was concerned they were on options – so with that thinking I came in with the full confidence that the others had done the same..”

      1. I’m pretty sure, after his request, they discussed it internally and told him it was ok to pit. This is where the miscalculation came in. Lewis cannot be expected to know the exact gaps behind him. That is why you need a team to be on top of these things.

        1. But the team also relies on feedback from their experienced driver. They told him the best strategy and he advised them on how he felt his tires are behaving. Lewis had a big part in the call.

          1. Trenthamfolk (@)
            24th May 2015, 16:39

            based on what the team told him… therein lies the mistake…

            1. Ha! Look at the facts again. The team didn’t want him to pit. They told him not to stay out. Then they pitted him based on what he told them. Yes, they could have insisted he stays out but you can’t deny Lewis some blame in this.

            2. ^they told him to stay out

            3. The team told him to come in.

              Hamilton only made them aware that his tyres would be cold and in bad shape. Which is exactly what you’d expect him to do.

          2. If they had not messed up and instead, said ‘Ok Lewis, we understand but if you pit you will lose the lead, or you may be close to losing it,’ then he would have never even considering pitting. You cannot blame Lewis without sounding petty. In modern F1 you have to rely very heavily on the team when it comes to these strategy calls and take their word at face value.

            1. In modern F1 you have to rely very heavily on the team when it comes to these strategy calls and take their word at face value.

              “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing”
              https://love4tshirts.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/kimi_raikkonen_leave_me_alone_winner_australia_t-shirt_black_647405d0.jpg

      2. no, they called him in, and they never should have. He might have wanted to pit because he had a bad idea about what was going on, but that is what the race engineer is there for, so Lewis has better situational awareness. Merc should have never called him in, period.

        Although I have to admit, it was funny seeing them working up an alibi in front of the cameras.

    22. A massive “Thank You!” to the Mercedes strategists for bringing the front runners closer together. And really cudos to Lewis for handling the dissappointment rather well. We discussed if he was about to give up his third place on the last lap just to avoid the embarrasment and pain of having to go to the podium!
      Lauda’s comments on RTL was very interesting and the German journalist said: 21 seconds in the lead, it takes 24 seconds for a pit-stop – even I can compute that its not gonna work out! Unforced error.
      Lauda said: Strategist can talk all day, – and they do, but Lowe should have cut through and made the right call.

      1. 21 seconds in the lead, but the other cars running at safety car speed dont forget… so there is something missing, i do not understand how Hamilton lost the place.

    23. But things like this, a ultimately benevolent miscalculation, happen throughout motorsport, throughout the fields. It is a sensation because it was on the most public of stages, and because it was no ordinary team but the reigning F1 team champion. It is also ironic because Lewis was compromised by friendly(ish) fire in Q3 last year, and because the same team cost him P2 with a similar blunder in 2013.

      Whilst the driver has to take some responsibility, Lewis surely knew he was fine to go to the end, he had no data, and MUST trust his team. That trust has been severely impaired, and it is essential so that he avoids a 2014 style mid-season dip that he quickly rebuilds this trust. A P45, whilst possibly a knee-jerk, would send a clear message from Mercedes that they are intent upon rebuilding on that trust. The mistake damaged Mercedes both in terms of points and publicity: I fail to see how there cannot be severe consequences.

      1. maarten.f1 (@)
        24th May 2015, 16:58

        I don’t see why people want to see heads roll without knowing the full facts. Yes, there has been a major f-up by the team. Was it a simple miscalculation, have many other things gone wrong? They need to evaluate first and then reach conclusions. Will firing someone fix the root cause? Or will it just be a completely useless thing to do? I personally think that firing people is the wrong thing to do, even if mistakes were made (in my opinion it sends a wrong message). You learn from them and move on.

        1. @maarten-f1 – Mercedes are taking enormous publicity pain from this right now, so if an elegant eventuality like a puncture or technical issue on the pitwall or a radio failure was behind it, you can be they would have told the media already. Yes, a firing would be a shame, but equally is disappointing tens of thousands of fans during F1’s premiere event and in doing so causing untold damage to the Mercedes brand, all because of a fundamental miscalculation, at all excusable? In most lines of work such an error would be cause for a sacking.

          Yes, it is not a constructive approach, but it does show Lewis they are intent on rebuilding his trust with the team: which unquestionably has been damaged today. One thing that might save P45s is the fact that at any other track, the advantage of fresh, warm option tyres would have won him the race regardless, Singapore 2014-style. It was perfect storm of track, the race director’s decision to abort the VSC (why legislate it if you don’t use it?) and poor maths that denied Lewis the victory he deserved today. Lewis can still comfort himself in the knowledge that, on the basis of the pace he showed today, the ten-point deficit ultimately will have a little effect on his ambition to be a triple world champion.

          1. maarten.f1 (@)
            24th May 2015, 18:12

            @countrygent But here’s the thing. There’s a whole team of people, both at the factory and at the track, working on strategy, running simulations, etc. One guy has to make the ultimate decision, but I assume he does that based on what all these people are telling him. If it turns out the wrong decision you can fire that one guy, but not fix the problem.

            If a driver puts his car in the wall due to a mistake he’ll take some flack for it, but he won’t be fired. But if a team member makes a mistake, why should he be fired for it?

            If I were a driver, and the team made a bad call, someone gets fired, it does nothing for my trust in the team. Because the team makes a mistake, it’s a collective mistake. Someone should’ve said, “hey guys, Ferrari isn’t out, they might not be stopping”, or, “according to the live timing, the gap is only 18 seconds”. Except nobody did. Perhaps they won’t let people make that call, perhaps people are afraid to make that call.

            I don’t think sacking anyone will do anything good for Mercedes. For me it sends a message: “Mess up and you’ll get fired”. But if Mercedes wants to go for that, that’s their prerogative. It’s just something I completely disagree with.

          2. @countrygent This is what happens when everyone is doing too much thinking. The beautiful thing about racing, and sports in general, is that there come times when the margin for error narrows and to succeed you have to put all your computers, simulations, and calculations aside, assess the situation rapidly in the heat of the moment, and use your gut, because calculations are less trustworthy than the reality on the field, the time is too tight, and the stakes are too high. In Monaco, a dozen laps from the end or less, there is only one rule: TRACK POSITION IS PARAMOUNT SO KEEP IT IF YOU GOT IT. End of story. Full stop. When the rule is that simple, ignoring it is fatal. All the strategics and calculations have to be overwhelming in favor of giving up track position so close to the end of the race. And they were not. An error of a few seconds was game-changing. Any number of mundane things can cause a few second delay in an ideally calculated plan when the pressure is on at Monaco: a long pit stop, pit lane traffic, where is the safety car versus other cars, the list is endless. There are just too many variables to have to assess in such a short time. That is why you never give up track position unless the advantage to doing so is significant. And clearly that was not the case. If Lewis contributed to the call, then I think it was because he wanted the win so badly that he perhaps forgot his supreme defensive driving skills. As I have said elsewhere, I would have put all my money on Lewis with 40 lap tires at that stage of the race. Just defend the inside everywhere and the race is yours. The best driver in the best car on a track where passing is nigh impossible. Forget the calculations. JUST DRIVE.

      2. Heads don’t need to roll because of one mistake. That’s the Luca approach.

        Someone made a mistake. So be it. I’ve made mistakes in my job too, I don’t expect to be sacked because of it.

    24. If Nico somehow manages to actually be ahead of Lewis in the next few races Mercedes should team order it for a Lewis win. Only fair option, that move was utter stupidity.

      1. Trenthamfolk (@)
        24th May 2015, 16:05

        Then Lewis’s win would be just as hollow as Nico’s today… the pendulum swings both ways and was in Nico’s direction today…

      2. How would that be fair to Nico? He isn’t responsible in any way for Mercedes making a bad call concerning Lewis’ strategy. Why should he be made to pay for it a few races down the line?

    25. Mercedes AMG = amateur management group. Unacceptable stupidity.

      1. “Absolutely unacceptable”

    26. Mercedes has an fantastic team of engineer’s, in engine and aerodynamics department, and one of, if not the best pair of drivers in F1. Considering all that, they are “lucky” their car is a lot faster than the opposition, because their management is so bad! Strategy like, they seem to be always behind, their car is just a lot faster , so they can make almost any strategy work. But their managers are not champion team material. They need a guy with an iron fist like Ross Brown, to put this team together under one single philosophy of work. In Ross time, Mercedes was far from having the best car on the grid, but at least the seemed to be very structured, and was that structure that opened the possibity for creating the team they are today! Mercedes is the team to beat today because of Ross organazation from 2009 to 2013, after that all Wolff, Paddy, and in a minor stand, Lauda did were collecting the spoils of that. The day that Ferrari, Red Bull, Mclaren or any other team reach their level of performance, if they don’t chance their way of strategically racing, they will be a step behindthe others.

      1. Ross Brawn had nothing to do with the new engine formula which has put Mercedes ahead of Ferrari, Redbull and Mclaren. mercedes did not got from 4th best to first over a winter break because of Ross Brawn, you are delusional if you believe that, Brawn was only good enough to get them to 4th best. the new engine regs are what put Mercedes at the top, plus good work in the aero department in the last year to keep the others from catching up.

        1. don’t for get the lobbying bit, about switching to the new formula …

          1. Funnily enough that was Renault.

            Mercedes had no problem keeping the V8’s like they were since they already had the best engine.

        2. You are correct it wasn’t over the winter. Brawn spent years putting all the pieces together. Hiring the best people, expanding and updating their facilities and starting very early with their work on the 2014 regulations. This reorganisation was why they were and still are, the best team. You cannot give all of the credit to Brawn, I would agree, but without him I do not think they would be where they are. I would argue you are delusional for not acknowledging that.

          I have felt since Ross Brawn left they are slowly losing their advantage established going into 2014 and do not have quite such a clear direction going forwards for the future. It will be interesting to see where they are in 2017 after these proposed changes. I have a feeling that they will start to really miss Brawn’s input.

          I agree the pit wall is already really missing him – shambles!

    27. Mercedes the clowns of Monaco. What the he’ll happened? The one two was in the bag and someone decides to call in the race leader. Or perhaps someone thought let’s give Nico the prestigious record of three consecutive Monaco Grand Prix wins. Mercedes has got a lot to answer for.

    28. He would have been ahead had he not had a 4,1s pitstop though.

    29. People it seems Lewis should get at least 50% of the blame…

      1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
        24th May 2015, 16:20

        @magon4 yeah I read in Autosport that he commented to the team his tyres were going down, and that he said so because he thought his direct rivals had already pitted. Of course, Mercedes had the final decision here, but it looks like he asked for that pitstop with his comment.

        1. If he asked, the team should have made the calculations and tell him no. Amateur job from Mercedes. Absolutely ridiculous.

        2. That makes it all the worse for Mercedes, they should have said no, the others have not pitted.

        3. I’ll bet my house that if Merc told Lewis Nico wasn’t pitting and wouldn’t pit, he wouldn’t even have mentioned the idea of tires running out again.

          1. Spot on.

            Hamilton thought he saw the pit crew out for Rosberg on one of the big screens, hence he questioned if he should pit as his tyres were pretty worn out.

            He didn’t have the full picture. The team at this point simply had to say that Rosberg was not pitting. Instead, they made some rushed calculations and went with it. That’s entirely the teams fault. They have all the information, Hamilton does not. He questioned something based on what he thought he’d seen. They merely had to correct him. They didn’t.

    30. What I’ve found interesting over the past 1.5 years is how Mercedes seems to be rather ‘insecure’ in fields other than engineering, design and drivers. Perhaps it’s because they ousted the old guard who not only built this team, but had a ton of F1 experience anyway (Haug, Brawn, etc) and the people currently in charge might be qualified in a theoretical sense, but Wolff has very little F1 experience and let’s not forget Lauda didn’t exactly get Jaguar winning over a decade ago. Of course, many more, less public, figures might be in less than ideal situations as well.

      Ultimately, the mistake made wasn’t huge (going by what they thought would happen) but the consequences are rather unforeseen and I do feel that happens too often with Mercedes; things get out of hand or at the least have unintended consequences.

      1. Team Mercedes have lucked in to going from a 4th best team to a best team – because of engine regs. the rest of the team must be catching up

        1. I think they have quite a bit of downforce on that thing too, but of course its all down to the engine right?

    31. If Lewis asked something the pitwall should resolve the matter. The driver doesn’t know what is happening so far behind him, so the pitwall should give him the best possible strategy or awser. Absolutely pathetic job by Mercedes.
      Bring Ross back.

      1. Ross Brawn would have gotten the same bad intel from the computer guys thinking Hamilton was far enough ahead for a stop.

    32. Mercedes’ complacence has cost them again. They lost Malaysia, thinking their rocket of a car could beat Ferrari even when the tires weren’t ideal.

      For a top team, they sure do make a lot of blunders. It’s just that their advantage is so big that they can get away with it most of the time.

      1. it did not cost them the win this time, but cost them 2nd place.

        1. But it has cost them big-time as the coming days well show, it is a reputational thing and they have shown themselves up as being strategically indecisive and dithering. Anyone watching today could see that the race win went to the wrong guy!

        2. What exactly did they lose today? Apart from 3 point difference between P2 and P3. . . which isn’t significant considering Kimi finished down in 6th. They still gained more points than Ferrari did this weekend and it isn’t like they are under a great threat from the teams behind. The only loser in this fiasco is Lewis.

    33. If Mercedes were in the same position as Red Bull in 2012 they never would have won the championship. They probably would have stuffed it up worse than McLaren did.

      1. no, because the 2nd driver was fast enought to win

        1. Michael Brown
          24th May 2015, 18:14

          I’m talking from a strategy point of view. Red Bull’s strategy helped keep Vettel in the hunt for the championship even when he wasn’t winning. Mercedes would botch it up, like they have done for the past two years.

    34. People need to step back and realize that it wasn’t really a big deal. Bad strategy calls have been happening in F1 since the beginning. Just because Lewis always likes to make a big deal of any “injustice” that happens to him, and go sulking around, doesn’t mean it’s any worse than all similar cases from the past.

      It only looks like a big deal because him and Nico are from the same team, but when it comes to in-race unplanned decisions, it’s every driver for himself.

      There were many situations last year where both Rosberg’s and Hamilton’s car malfunctioned, costing them much more than 10 points, so this is just one more variable that comes into play. Sometimes it’s a driver’s mistake, sometimes it’s strategy, sometimes it’s mechanical…

      Tough luck. Better luck next time.

      1. Hahahaha pathetic

      2. All three races Lewis has lost have been due to negligence by his team.

        Malaysia lost a whole day of practice.
        Barcelona, 9 seconds for the first two pits
        This race.

        Last year, while Nico and Lewis did suffer almost equally during races with respect to reliability, Lewis lost a lot of rounds in a row during the crucial part of the season due to severe reliability issues during qualifying which meant he had to try a lot harder to regain his advantage. It’s all a bit silly.

      3. It was a 17 point swing. I’d say its a reasonably big deal.

    35. I remember one of the previous times there was a strategy error, it was pointed out that Mercedes only has one strategist for the team; others have one per driver. Maybe it’s time Lewis and Nico each got their own. It must be difficult to always make the right call for Hamilton, Robert AND the team, especially at Monaco. Ask Lewis and he messed it up there 2 years in a row.

      1. *Rosberg

    36. Many of the greatest champions came so close to winning and yet, lost out on the last few minutes. I wouldn’t worry too much about this result. These are all character building moments for Lewis. He has done a great job so far this year. He has to stay focused for the big prize.

    37. I don’t knew the gap between Vettel and Kvyat when the Safety Car emerges, but perhaps Lewis’ team worried that if Vettel was able to make a pit stop to the Super Soft and still came out 3rd, he would pose a serious threat to the Mercs. But again Nico obviously wasn’t able to pit since Vettel was right behind him, and even if Vettel managed to have that pit stop Nico would keep him occupied for the rest of the race, so an idiotic move from Lewis’ garage.

      But also, mistakes like this happen in F1. Sure, it wasn’t Hamilton’s fault; just like it wasn’t Alonso’s fault that his car broke down and denied him of his first points finish of the season; or like it wasn’t Verstappen’s fault that his pit crew messed up while he was having a very good position.

      Mercedes and Hamilton need to be calm and keep themself together, Ferrari’s right behind them, with a little bit of luck they could have snatched this Monaco GP right from the Mercs. The least thing they would want right now is to lose their heads and therefore there track performances.

    38. Any chance we can get the radio transcript with a bold where Lewis was told to stay out and then he questioned the call with a response about his tires? That should shut up a few noggins that are talking too much today.

      1. The team should know Hamilton’s feedback on the tires, but i’ts their call and they made it.

    39. This error is surely an irrelevance and happens day in day out in sport. The real question should be WHY and HOW Ham managed to break a 20 sec gap to Ros and Vet and yet Ros completely failed to create more than a two sec gap to Vet. Ham was so far ahead of Ros so much that Ros was virtually in free air like Ham but somehow completely failed to break a gap of his own…..This win is nothing but a distraction if you really look at the facts. The future is ominous for Ros, for that I am 100% sure of that.

    40. on the Belgian tv (Dutchà they showed the reason. Hamilton Caught the safetycar in the last sector costing him 3 sec, if the safety car waited at the start finish line like usual Lewis would have exited in front of rosberg.

      1. Interesting. Something to look into. We all agree that for something like this to happen it has to be a confluence of various factors. But unlike Hungary last year(in Nico’s case) this was totally avoidable.

    41. Shame but for £600,000 a week I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

    42. Am I the only one who isn’t calling to sack hardworking people who simply made a mistake?

      1. I’m with you

    43. Who is in charge of the strategy at Mercedes, Mr. Magoo? Completely unacceptable. That Mercedes team does alot of apologizing to Lewis. Lewis took the championship despite all the teams apologies for last years failures, and today they managed to one-up themselves and take it to a whole new level by snatching victory from the guy who completely and utterly dominated the entire field the whole day. Incredible.

    44. Ridiculous . In Lewis first year we paid £2000 to see Lewis win in Monaco. He was told to drop back and let Alonso win. This year we did the same only for ‘team rules’ to interfere once again. I will never spend another penny on F1

      1. That’s like saying you’ll never pay to see another football match because a striker hoofed the ball over the bar.

    45. Interestingly if you play back the race in the Timing App, on lap 65 when Lewis pitted his 2nd sector time is 53 seconds, compared to 44 of Nico & Vettel. Most other drivers did 44-46 as well. Was that because of catching the SC or something else?

      Anyway, on his in-lap Hamilton lost quite a lot of time just before his stop and that looks like the reason for losing the position.

    46. Costy mistake of course, but you win and lose as a team, so no point to cry about it. Everything is pointing that Lewis will become world champ again – and this is far more important than Monaco win.

    47. Everyone seems to be slamming Lewis, but Lewis needs to take a fair portion of the blame. From the press conference, here’s Lewis:

      I saw a screen, it looked like the team was out and I thought that Nico had pitted. Obviously I couldn’t see the guys behind so I thought the guys behind were pitting. The team said to stay out, I said ‘these tyres are going to drop in temperature,’ and what I was assuming was that these guys would be on Options and I was on the harder tyre. So, they said to pit. Without thinking I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same.

      The team said to stay out, Lewis basically said he wanted to come in. He said that thinking the Ros and Vet were on Options. He didn’t seek to clarify that.

      If it make everyone feel better, blame Mercedes, but man up to Lewis’s responsibility as well. If he had said, “these tires are good” or didn’t say anything, he wouldn’t have been pitted.

      1. @uan If this is the case, then clearly, too much thinking. Forget the tires. Forget the calculations. It’s Monaco, 10 laps from the end. You are the best driver in the world, in the best car, on a track where passing is nearly impossible. Stay on track. Trust your skills. JUST DRIVE. And if they beat you straight up, then you have to tip your hat to them.

      2. It doesn’t matter if the wanted to come in. If the team did the math correctly they would have said to him to stay out. They are there for those kind of things. The fault is Mercedes and even them accept that, but some that don’t like Hamilton don’t want to realize it.

      3. The question you should be asking yourself is why is the Mercedes pit crew out? Their cars are healthy and running 1-2 with ten laps to go and they have already met the tire compound change requirement. This is Monaco where track position is King. So why were they in position? We see teams do this all the time where they throw a dummy to their competitors where they position their pit crew, but they really have absolutely no intention of pitting their drives. They are just trying to force their competitors to show their cards.

        It looks like Mercedes threw a dummy at one of their drivers(Hamilton in this case). The problem with that is we know Mercedes policy. They have a non competitive strategy policy with regards to their drivers. One strategist decides for both drivers. The pit wall manages what the driver can’t see. They did just that earlier for Hamilton with his brakes. So why did they allow Hamilton to pit knowing full well that Rosberg and Vettel did not pit? Nevermind what Hamilton saw on the screen. If the pit wall was looking after Hamilton’s best interests at that point, they would have simply told him negative, stay out Rosberg and Vettel have not pitted. Our pit crew is out “just in case” or “we’re throwing Ferrari a dummy.” But they didn’t!

        It would appear Mercedes threw Hamilton a dummy he would never have suspected from his own team.

    48. Ham, you did very well on Monaco Race, to lose on some mistake, I feel your pain sadness. Please carry on n fight, Nico didn’t win he just got lucky, you are the better driver, you will win again n the best to you

    49. Graham White
      24th May 2015, 18:57

      In my opinion nobody in their right mind would make the call to bring Lewis in at that stage of the race. Everybody knows you can’t overtake at Monaco so what was the point? This unfortunately leads me to believe that it was done just to close the gap between Lewis and Nico because that will make it more interesting for the masses. Sad to say that I can’t see any other reasonable explanation for such a decision.
      I hate to be so cynical but it’s how I see it.

    50. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      24th May 2015, 18:57

      This is actually funny but I think Lewis is better than Mercedes – the car and team do NOT do justice to him. Nico on the other hand is actually not deserving of the car and the team. 10 points difference instead of 27 – a devastating loss at Monaco where Lewis wiped his proverbial behind with Nico, yet Nico stood on top.

      I guess toilet paper can win 3 times at Monaco:-) Sorry, just watched the race – very upset.

    51. Second time recently Mercedes team have made a “mistake” detrimental to Lewis; they ballsed up the tyre strategy in one of the earlier races. Something doesn’t quite “add up” and Lewis has every right to be upset. Vettel used to ignore Red Bull…..

    52. Wow…just wow! This is exactly why Hamilton is always second guessing the decisions made by the pit wall. He can’t trust them and they keep giving him reasons not to trust them.

      You can tell by the way Hamilton races that he goes above and beyond to make sure the pit wall does not make or break his race. It all comes down to trust. He could have just stayed 2 seconds ahead of Rosberg throughout the race, but any mistake in the pits or call by the strategists would ruin his victory. Sure enough that is exactly what happened.

      Which is why he kept building on his lead to make sure there is absolutely no pressure on the team when he pits. A safety car is something a driver can’t manage on his own no matter how brilliant you think they are. This is where management steps in. They are suppose to take in info from the driver on track and the other factors the driver cannot see and make the best call. This is just another reason Hamilton is going to hate the strategy department and their philosophy at Mercedes. Ten laps to go in Monaco, the last thing on your mind should be a pit stop if you’re running top five with a healthy car. I was losing my mind trying to figure out why they pitted. Did he run over debris/scraps from the accident? Puncture? Why are they not showing a replay? Did Nico and Vettel pit? OHH NOO!!! why is Merc pit crew out and looking so serious…face palm!

      The lead driver should never be the one to show his cards first. Mercedes should have pitted Hamilton only if they knew for a fact that his main competitors have pitted. How can Mercedes possibly get such a simple call wrong? Do they expect Hamilton to race and manage the races by himself? Do they think their only job is to change his tires when he decides he doesn’t have anymore grip? I think the foolish thing to do would be to ridicule the conspiracy theorist at this point. I know its so easy to make fun of them because they don’t have “proof.” But then again, it won’t be a conspiracy would it if we had proof? There would be no need for convincing if there was proof would there?

    53. It was unfortunate for Lewis but mistakes are made, everybody is human. He dealt with it very well, I was expecting him to bin it chasing down Vettel, but he kept his head. And even after the race he controlled his emotions with the media attempting to get a reaction from him. Definitely not Lewis of old.

    54. Guys, just cool down. End of the session we all know that Lewis will be the WDC. No worries about that.

      1. You’re not if you’re getting screwed over by team decisions, hopefully this will be the last. Go LH!!

    55. This whole episode just makes clear to me that the pit is way to much involved with the strategy during the race.
      Make a strategy before the race, and let the driver do all the work during the race.
      Pit to car communication should be banned except for the pit board. That way the driver must decide what and when to do something, he will need to decide when to pit, to hang back or to overtake.
      In my opinion this will result in a much more “dynamic” result.

    56. Mercedes pathetic and shameful decision didn’t save it. You dilapidated a perfect Lewis weekend. it’s just very strange, not smelly well sorry Toto and Niki.

    57. i read this title in the page “Rosberg will have to get creative to beat Hamilton”. He was too many creative jajajajajajajaja. SHAMEFUL

    58. Seems to me that the programme that produced the decision might have been correct on any other circuit – where Lewis could have overtaken Vettel and Rosberg with fresh tyres – but it did not allow for the unique aspect of the Monaco circuit – the difficulty of overtaking. So the assumption and the calculation were wrong. Rubbish in, rubbish out. The really shocking bit is that no-one engaged brain to override it.

    59. Can’t believe LH’s team screwed him over a sure win and blamed it on algorithms. What a joke Mercedes, you can do better than that. You owe LH big.

    60. Amr Mahfouz
      25th May 2015, 9:12

      Lewis is a WINER always, realy he did a great job in the race and after the race as well by his attidude
      we win together and lose together

    61. rafael martins
      25th May 2015, 13:33

      Mercedes want a positive headline for Rosberg, compairing him to Senna’s hat-trick. But the idea was Hamilton behind in a good 1-2. Plus, all this it’s good for the “championship”, just saying.

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