Hamilton wanted chance to use different strategy

2015 Brazilian GP tyre strategies and pit stops

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Lewis Hamilton described his Brazilian Grand Prix was “boring” after following Nico Rosberg home for second place.

During the race Hamilton urged his team to let him try a different strategy because of the difficulty of making an overtaking move on the team’s sister car.

“I had good pace it’s just you can’t overtake here,” said Hamilton, echoing the prediction he made 24 hours earlier.

“I was behind Nico and he trapped me for some time so I just killed my tyres,” Hamilton explained. “It’s a shame because it’s such a great track but you just can’t get close enough to race. I don’t know if there’s other people overtaking but unless you’ve got a huge advantage on the guy in front…”

“Motor sport’s about the fine line, about tenths of a second, but you can’t get close enough within a tenth of a second to be able to fight. It’s a shame because it’d be good if we could get some overtaking here.”

Hamilton said he was eager for the chance to use a different strategy to his team mate. “I’m here to race and when you both have to do pretty much the same order it’s kind of already set from the beginning,” he said.

“For sure if there’s any other strategies I’m like, let’s do it, take a risk, do whatever. And they’re like ‘look after the tyres’ and I’m like ‘no, I’m racing’. And I think that’s what people want to see.”

“But unfortunately today I couldn’t get close enough to be able to put on a great race so it was relatively boring following in a tow.”

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Nico RosbergSoft (13)Medium (20)Medium (15)Medium (23)
Lewis HamiltonSoft (14)Medium (20)Medium (15)Medium (22)
Sebastian VettelSoft (13)Medium (19)Soft (15)Medium (24)
Kimi RaikkonenSoft (12)Medium (34)Medium (25)
Valtteri BottasSoft (11)Medium (30)Medium (29)
Nico HulkenbergSoft (9)Medium (26)Medium (35)
Daniil KvyatSoft (10)Medium (29)Medium (31)
Felipe MassaSoft (10)Medium (28)Medium (17)Medium (15)
Romain GrosjeanSoft (10)Medium (25)Medium (19)Soft (16)
Max VerstappenSoft (11)Medium (23)Medium (19)Soft (17)
Pastor MaldonadoMedium (25)Soft (19)Medium (26)
Daniel RicciardoSoft (3)Medium (25)Medium (24)Soft (18)
Sergio PerezSoft (10)Medium (23)Medium (18)Soft (19)
Felipe NasrSoft (14)Medium (25)Medium (31)
Jenson ButtonSoft (12)Medium (19)Soft (20)Soft (19)
Fernando AlonsoSoft (13)Medium (19)Soft (20)Soft (18)
Marcus EricssonSoft (12)Medium (20)Medium (21)Soft (16)
Will StevensSoft (15)Medium (25)Medium (27)
Alexander RossiSoft (14)Medium (27)Medium (26)

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes22.93649
2Fernando AlonsoMcLaren22.9810.04513
3Nico RosbergMercedes23.0460.11048
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes23.1480.21234
5Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.2180.28232
6Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.2420.30612
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari23.2930.35712
8Nico RosbergMercedes23.3210.38533
9Felipe MassaWilliams23.4010.46555
10Jenson ButtonMcLaren23.4020.46651
11Sebastian VettelFerrari23.4740.53832
12Sergio PerezForce India23.6090.67333
13Daniil KvyatRed Bull23.6300.69439
14Sergio PerezForce India23.7320.79651
15Valtteri BottasWilliams23.7360.80011
16Romain GrosjeanLotus23.7870.85135
17Sebastian VettelFerrari23.8010.86513
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren23.8100.87452
19Sergio PerezForce India23.8540.91810
20Sebastian VettelFerrari23.8610.92547
21Felipe MassaWilliams23.8870.95110
22Felipe MassaWilliams23.9270.99138
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull23.9371.0013
24Romain GrosjeanLotus23.9581.02254
25Daniel RicciardoRed Bull23.9791.04328
26Nico HulkenbergForce India24.0091.0739
27Max VerstappenToro Rosso24.0781.14253
28Pastor MaldonadoLotus24.1151.17925
29Max VerstappenToro Rosso24.1531.21734
30Daniil KvyatRed Bull24.1551.21910
31Max VerstappenToro Rosso24.1661.23011
32Nico HulkenbergForce India24.1991.26335
33Jenson ButtonMcLaren24.2651.32931
34Lewis HamiltonMercedes24.3281.39214
35Romain GrosjeanLotus24.4751.53910
36Felipe NasrSauber24.4911.55539
37Marcus EricssonSauber24.6991.76312
38Daniel RicciardoRed Bull24.7751.83952
39Valtteri BottasWilliams24.9131.97741
40Nico RosbergMercedes25.0392.10313
41Marcus EricssonSauber25.1022.16653
42Kimi RaikkonenFerrari25.3082.37246
43Alexander RossiManor25.4922.55614
44Felipe NasrSauber25.5292.59314
45Will StevensManor25.5472.61115
46Alexander RossiManor26.7063.77041
47Will StevensManor27.0954.15940
48Marcus EricssonSauber29.1486.21232
49Pastor MaldonadoLotus30.0827.14644

2015 Brazilian 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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22 comments on “Hamilton wanted chance to use different strategy”

  1. Under dry racing conditions, the driver should not be the one dictating the strategy. End of. Mercedes allowed that to happen twice this season already (Monaco with Hamilton and Hungary with Rosberg) and it did not pay off at all in either situation. Let the drivers do the driving and let the strategists do the strategic work.

    If Hamilton wants to beat Rosberg to win races, then I would rather see him do it on the track, not by doing it in the pit lane.

    1. That’s a really bad policy when you’re dealing with a team that only wants to ensure a clean 1-2 for PR/Advertising/stat padding reasons. The drivers should be allowed to take a chance if they want.

    2. I’m sure he wants his own strategy engineer, one for each side of the garage, not dictate strategy himself from the cockpit in the middle of the race.

    3. 180 degrees wrong. Monaco has nothing to do with it, that was an arithmetic mistake by an engineer, and Hungary was about the team still having the longer-range primes warming in the pod.

      Drivers need to be able to influence their own strategy, within their own sphere of how the tyres are feeling and what pace they feel they have in the car. But they need to do that together with their own strategist not a joint team strategist.

      They would win on the track, by being faster in free air, or not.

      1. Agreed: Yes telemetry tells a lot of info but without real input from a driver, it is meaningless! Like Renault has a lot of improvement on their new upgraded engine on paper/computer, but wasnt reflected on the tarmac! Same with Mexico… It proved driver can have a decision that can work, esp when they wrapped up the constructors and drivers champ, why not have a bit of fun? Let the driver make the decision and have a collective result good or bad which would not change anything at the moment…

        They want exciting races, but they dont wanna risk anything to find limits?

        1. Thankfully for the bulk of the last two seasons both Merc drivers have been allowed to race each other from race one of each season, including varying strategies even with one strategist. But these last two races are not the time to be talking about this when both Championships were sown up and all they had left to do was ensure Nico second in the WDC standings.

          I honour Merc for taking the tougher road of letting their drivers have a rivalry rather than ruining F1 by designating one as the rooster from race one of the season, but it would make no sense for them to risk unnecessarily Nico losing second in the standings to SV as well as upsetting the apple cart within the team by favouring one driver over the other at this stage, as if it was race one and there was still everything to play for.

      2. Mercedes’ strategy is great until Hamilton is the one in 2nd.
        If Hamilton would rather not have a Mercedes that favors the driver who is in 1st then he is welcome to go to a team that would accomodate his need. If he wants favorable race strategy, he needs to be in front of his team mate in the race. Simply strategy. It works equally for both Mercedes drivers.

        1. What you say makes no sense. It isn’t Hamilton that suffers more from all this from all this but as fans that do not get to see them doing everything to win their opponent.
          Hamilton even had more poles this season so it worked in his favor really because of that.
          If anything under the current system Hamilton won 2 championships against Nico’s zero.
          A change in the way the team does things may actually benefit Nico more than Lewis since until now with the things as they are Nico was getting a lot less wins and lost both championships.

          If the team put a different strategist for each driver that cared only about his own driver and they both did their best to trick each other and win it for their guy it doesn’t just benefit Hamilton but Rosberg too since Rosberg will be allowed to use his own strategies to win against Hamilton when his in second. Hamilton obviously can’t demand different strategies only when his second. He knows that if his allowed to have his own strategist Nico would get his own strategist too. And if that happens the only winners will be us, the viewers. We won’t have to see them going in a parade and get to see racing between them.

  2. He ruined his chance to use a different strategy early after the 1st stop by pushing extremely hard and trying to overtake Nico. He paid the price by falling back later in the stint.

    1. Does nobody else see the tragedy of this statement – a driver being punished for trying to overtake a rival during the race??! Who wants to see a driver win because he preserved his tyres better than anyone else…?!?

  3. He didn’t find it boring when Rosberg had his strategy options equally locked behind him.

    1. @James Coulee

      Bingo. And know one cared when Hamilton was winning those 11 races about how Rosberg should be allowed a different strategy.

      They’ve raced all year with this strategy and Hamilton got the best of it. He should stop whinging that Rosberg’s doing better than him recently. After all, isn’t that what he told Rosberg earlier – enjoy it, we’re in F1?

    2. Small difference, Rosberg rarely had the pace to make a different strategy work…

      Remember Spain this year when Hamilton needed an alternative to pass Vettel? You need to be sure you have the extra speed to make an extra stop work, or have the ability to work the tyres to go one stop less. Hamilton had that today. Rosberg never had that edge.

      1. @xtwl

        it doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t have the pace. Yes they used an alternate strategy in Spain, and I believe they did the same for Rosberg in Japan to get past Vettel.

        But what about Australia? Or Canada, where Rosberg was clearly within an undercut of jumping Lewis? Or Spa when Lewis wanted to stay out more laps until the team said “if you don’t come in, we’ll bring Rosberg in”. What was he worried about? Being undercut? See how that works, and it’s not all “well Rosberg’s rarely had the pace.” He’s had it often enough to have changed the dynamics of the WDC.

        So think about it, the team didn’t do it then, but now that Hamilton’s already won the WDC and won 10 races, they should start giving Lewis favorable opportunities that were denied Rosberg earlier in the season, so Lewis can try to win more?

        Hamilton’s made hay with pole positions and jumping Rosberg on the starts this season. Just because he’s hasn’t made it work the last 2 races, we should all jump on the bandwagon about how unfair it is to Lewis or that Merc should suddenly change how they do things for the benefit of their drivers cough Lewis cough being able to race for the win?

        1. You are being ridiculous. A driver obviously won’t make a complain when something didn’t affect him and will complain when something does affects him. That is how all drivers are, hell that is how most human are in general.

          The reason we as fans should not like it is not because Hamilton mentioned it but because it will make better racing between them and that includes Rosberg doing it when being second.
          Or do you believe Hamilton is dumb enough to think that the team will allow him to have his own strategist and not give Nico one?

  4. Honestly, does anyone think this would have come up if Hamilton got pole and lead from lights out in Mexico and Brazil? I really seriously doubt it – it would just be “confirmation that Hamilton is in a league of his own” and “Rosberg needs to up his game” or “Rosberg’s a defeated man”, etc.

    1. @uan I have. I have on many occasions said that the Mercedes has plenty of pace (to go to less optimal strategies) to at worst still finish 1-2. We’re surely coming to a phase where racing between them only happens on saturday. As I said above though this requires certain skill. I’m more sure that if the strategy requires the driver to pounce in some laps the chance of it working is higher with Hamilton than Rosberg.

      1. @xtwl

        Mercedes go to “less optimal” strategies lol. I think we tend to underestimate how much work goes into getting those 1-2s.

        Speaking of less optimal, remember Spain and Lewis’s reactions “I can’t pass man”. At the end of the race (it have been Malaysia) “this is the wrong tire man.” Actually, it wasn’t. Sometimes there’s a chance of passing, sometimes not, regardless of whether it’s Hamilton or Rosberg. There’s been more than than races that he’s won where if Vettel had track position in the last stint he probably would be able to stay ahead. Today comes to mind, if Merc stayed with a 2 stop strategy for both drivers. Maybe they should have left Hamilton out on a two stopper the alternate strategy. Mercedes lucked into an additional SC in Austin, or it could have been a Rosberg/Vettel/Hamilton podium. Merc overall has done a great job getting both their cars into 1-2 as often as they have.

        One thing folks overestimate, is how situationally aware Hamilton is. He actually isn’t. In Singapore he thought he was keeping pace with Vettel/Ricciardo when pretty much everyone knew Vettel was going purposefully slow. How about Monaco, when he thought Vettel and Rosberg had pitted so wanted to pit himself. Or Mexico where he thought he had great tire wear, and he really didn’t.

    2. It would have come up if Rosberg wanted to raise the issue. Fans have raised the issue even when Hamilton was winning. Plenty times i saw posts saying this is boring because Merc doesn’t allow them to make strategies on their own and basically controls them like that.
      But unfortunate F1 sites won’t make an article saying “User johjn397 wants different strategist for Mercedes cars”. They will only write an article when Rosberg or Hamilton says something about it.

  5. When all you HAM and ROS fans stop arguing about who should be winning not wining take a look at what HAM actually said about the tyres preventing drivers from racing.
    Nag, nag, nag, blah, blah,blah you say but if you won’t believe me and others you should take Lewis’ word for it.

    1. No I agree, which is why some people need to get off Nico’s back for not ‘simply’ passing LH at some races this year. Far easier said than done. Ya some races Nico couldn’t get close enough amd wasn’t really taking the fight to LH, but some races he was, but was just as handcuffed as LH has been over the last couple of races once in his dirty air. So LH is really confirming the difficulty as well as how much closer Nico really is, once you consider the dirty air effect and the processions it continues to provide.

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