Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2015

Pit decision was “perfect” – Hamilton

2015 British Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2015Lewis Hamilton said his decision to pit for intermediates in the British Grand Prix was a rare example of him making a “perfect” pit call.

“I think for the first time probably in my career I made the perfect choice tyre-wise,” said Hamilton after taking his third win at Silverstone. “I’m really really happy for that.”

Hamilton said he had “lost a lot of temperature in my slicks” before pitting, which allowed Rosberg to catch on him during that phase of the race.

After the race Mercedes executive director for technical Paddy Lowe congratulated Hamilton on a “great call on the pit stop”. “That was exactly right this time,” Lowe added. Hamilton lost a potential victory in the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year after making an extra pit stop late in the race.

Hamilton lost the lead from pole position for the second race in a row but said he was happy with his getaway. “My clutch was good,” said Hamilton, “it’s just that we had quite poor grip, I think, at the start.”

“I think it was the same for Nico. But it made the race even more exciting, we kept pushing… that probably made it more exciting for the fans.”

2015 British Grand Prix

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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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  • 40 comments on “Pit decision was “perfect” – Hamilton”

    1. it was not even Hamilton’s call it was the call of his race engineer Peter Bonnington, full credit to Peter though
      excellent call!

      1. So I guess Lewis and Toto are both liars then?

      2. It was Hamilton’s call actually @sameercader. The team confirmed that in interviews and in radio messages to Hamilton congratulating him on that call too.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th July 2015, 15:30

        @sameercader, you’re probably confused with the first pit stop.
        Even in the above article you can read the quotes confirming it was Lewis’ the call!

      4. Sameer Cader It seems that people like you, will always find a way to criticize Hamilton no matter what. If it was Alonso and Vettel or any other driver that made the call then you would be hailing them about how good they are.

      5. @sameercader As per the article, it was Hamilton’s call. More of his radio comments around that time can be found here:

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/07/05/hamilton-banishes-memories-of-monaco-with-home-race-winning-pit-call/

    2. Yes, it was quite funny to hear Brundle and Kravitz say it was the wrong call (going to inters, not the stop itself) and then see it start raining much more heavily a few seconds later.

      1. As he was going down the pit lane – I had my head in my hands. I was also convinced it was the wrong call. I thought he should live with the fact Nico was going to pass him, and not jeopardise the 2nd place. But the moment the S2 time came up it was obvious that it was the perfect call and that Lewis would win the race.

        I wonder how many others would also have called that wrong.

        1. I thought it was the wrong call too. As soon as he turned in, I said to my husband, that’s it, he has lost the race! But he was right! Perfect call at the right time.

    3. Thank you DRS for giving us a good battle between the Williams at the beginning. Without it, bottas would never had had those close moments with Massa at the end of hangar straight :)

      1. Very true.
        I often feel that IF the length of drs zone would be properly and carefully chosen at each track then drs could be much better. For example the length at Silverstone was perfect while in Shanghai its way too long and leads to highway passes.

    4. Off course Hamilton did get a bit lucky with how that cal turned out to have been perfectly timed. But kudos for making the winning cal Lewis!

      1. No doubt he was lucky here but he’s been criticised for things which were unlucky in the past so I definitely think he deserves credit here.

    5. Meanwhile at Williams, The Amateur Horror Hour Show Continues. Seb in 3rd is a complete f. up from Williams. Ferrari had no business finishing in 3rd if not for Williams’ pit wall.

      1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
        5th July 2015, 15:28

        Let’s be fair here, it was Vettel coming in at the perfect moment that sealed it.

        1. Yeah. Vettel also made the same superb decision that Hamilton did. Actually you may argue that Hamilton was kinda forced into the decision what with Rosberg catching up, but Vettel overtook Raikkonen and stayed steadily ahead of Kvyat who I thought might be actually faster, then pitted at the exact right moment. And he made the call himself too. Very good job by Hamilton and Vettel.

        2. Not to mention the Williams car being crap in the wet.

      2. Yeah. Ferrari was much slower this weekend. And the pit call made by the driver got them a podium, so they are really lucky, whereas they had cost that driver 2 podiums in the last 2 races.

      3. Rick Lopez (@viscountviktor)
        6th July 2015, 15:51

        I must agree though, Williams need to look at their strategy and pitstops and sort the whole thing out.

    6. Better than the Monaco one? Irony aside, kudos to Mercedes for nailing the strategy this time.

    7. I wouldn’t say smart, so much as it was lucky. I mean, Lewis makes so many of these “daring” calls, that eventually some day by the theory of probability he would get it right, isn’t it? He cocky “this is the best call I ever made” attitude doesn’t help either.

      Still a strong win by him and good job on that. Shame about the Williams’ though.

      1. I am certain you are reading and interpreting his comment the way you want to interpret it.

        1. OMG, he used his own brain to comment. Quick, bring on the safety car, you’re not supposed to do that.

      2. pastaman (@)
        6th July 2015, 1:18

        Funny how you post the same “cocky” LH comment in multiple places. It’s like you don’t even understand English.

      3. He[sic] cocky “this is the best call I ever made” attitude doesn’t help either.

        How is it cocky? If you ordered every pit call he has made in is career, best to worst, one would be top, regardless of whether he made all great choices or all bad choices. I can’t think of a better pit call he has made then yesterday so that statement seems to be nothing more than an accurate reflection of the facts.

        It would be cocky if he said “This is the best call anyone has ever made”, but he didn’t say that did he.

        Once again though it seems certain people like to just beat on the drivers they personally hate, even when they don’t actually have any ammunition to use.

    8. It wasn’t really much of a decision when he was literally chased into the pits by Rosberg. Lewis had a huge luck, if Rosberg had another straight the result would be different. Nico had the better pace all weekend too, so at least he can get confidence from that fact.

    9. How many believe Williams threw away a chance to really fight for the win by not recognizing Bottas’ better pace in the early laps and making the difficult but necessary decision to instruct Massa to allow Bottas to go by cleanly? To me, it was clear that simply giving Bottas the green light was never going to be enough, as even the Mercs with their superior pace could not overtake on track at that point. It seems to me that Williams just don’t have that necessary killer instinct to make the courageous and sometimes difficult calls necessary to win when they have the chance (and with Merc advantage, those chances are few and far between, so you have to think on your feet and seize them when they arise). As a result of their conservative approach, they didn’t even make the podium.

    10. Vettel comes in at the perfect moment = great strategic decision!!
      Hamilton comes in at the perfect moment = Lucky…hmm.

      1. yeah button used to get praise for those kind of calls too.also the rain actually helped nico get second place,coz before then he was stuck behind the 2 williams.

        1. The reason why people are calling it a lucky moment is because at the moment Hamilton decided to pit the intermediate tyres weren’t not the right tyres. The heavy rain which made the intermediate tyres necessary came while Hamilton was leaving the pitlane.

          1. Just…no. It started raining during that lap. And they received information about the coming rain all the time.

            1. To be sure I watched the BBC footage. And you can clearly see that the heavy rain started when Vettel drove trough the pitlane after making his stop. At that time Hamilton was somewhere in the first sector with his intermediate tyres.

              I don’t think Hamilton pitted because he knew heavy rain was coming, but because he lost the temperature from his tyres. You could hear on the radio Hamilton saying: “I’ve got no grip on those tyres guys.” That was just before his stop.

          2. I was at Vale. The rain macs and umbrellas were coming out about a minute before Lewis pitted and the clouds were getting darker behind us. It has been raining lightly for about 10 minutes there. Lewis could see it and so did Seb. I didn’t realise it was raining at the other end of the circuit as the sky seemed light so was a little confused why they pitted at the time.

      2. Vettel comes in at the perfect moment = great strategic decision!!

        I must have missed all the commentators praising Vettel for his “great strategic decision”!

        1. Yeah. No one even acknowledges that. It was Vettel’s decision to pit. And no one was sorta forcing him to do that, maybe unlike Hamilton’s case with Rosberg closing in.

          1. The decision to pit Vettel was a team decision – at least that is what he said. he used the term “we”.

            1. He said “we” on the podium. But it was his decision.

            2. Ferrari have made it clear that Kimi and Seb made their own calls on when to stop, so it was Seb’s decision.

    11. nico kept his tyres upto temp because he was on a 2 stopper,pushing harder than lewis.plus the hot air from the williams would have helped keep nicos tyres upto temp.

    12. Of course this decision by Lewis effectively won him the race (or at least didn’t lose him, easily doable in those conditions). Kudos to him for that.

      Nico did everything right, but track position was paramount. The undercut Hamilton enjoyed in the first stop would have worked exactly the same for Rosberg, but it was Hamilton’s priviledge.
      Then at the second pit stop, exactly the worst time for him for the rain to increase.
      The likelyhood of Rosberg passing Hamilton with a 2s/lap advantage was exteremy high (but we can never know for certain, and it has to be mentioned the ROS never happened to pass HAM on track), and even if Hamilton still had stopped, the outcome of in-lap-slick-ROS vs out-lap-inters-HAM would have sealed the deal. RAI’s times on inters in those conditions point in that direction.

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