Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2018

Hamilton hopes strategy errors don’t decide title

2018 British Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he hopes strategic errors such as those his team made at the Red Bull Ring and Melbourne do not decide the championship fight.

The Mercedes driver lost the lead in last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix after his team failed to bring him in the pits during a Virtual Safety Car period. His subsequent pit stop dropped him to fourth place, following which he retired.

A similar mistake in Australia cost Hamilton a potential win to Sebastian Vettel. On that occasion the team failed to correctly calculate how close he needed to be to Vettel in the event of a VSC period.

Hamilton fell one point behind Vettel in the championship following the Austrian Grand Prix. Speaking in today’s FIA press conference, Hamilton said he hopes the lost points don’t cost him the title.

“I hope it’s not a title decider but, as I said, I can’t predict what’s going to happen going forwards. All I know is that we are constantly getting better and improving.

“What I can say is that I really do feel like I have the best strategist team behind me. I mean look at how many wins I’ve had within this team. We’ve had far, far more success than we’ve had failures and nobody is perfect. It’s just the way the sport is. There is no way to be perfect. It would probably be boring if that was the case.”

Mercedes is not alone in having committed such mistakes, Hamilton added. “If you look at the season, it’s been like that for other teams, I think all teams,” he said. “If you look at Ferrari, they’ve lost points, I’m pretty sure the Red Bulls have lost points.

“The amount of pressure, the amount of simulations that go on, the information… there are a lot of tough calls for each team to make. Some of them for sure are easier than others. Maybe the easier one sometimes it could be one weekend the easier one is the wrong decision and vice versa. That’s just how it is.”

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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 “Hamilton hopes strategy errors don’t decide title”

  1. May the smartest (best) TEAM win

  2. Too right. Vettel lost loads of points due to strategy in China and Baku, he could of and should of been much further ahead.

  3. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    5th July 2018, 18:48

    Hamilton : I am the only one deserving of the title. I define myself and no other factors are worthy of affecting the outcome of the championship. Anyone can win the title as long as it’s me.

    1. Where did he say that? I’m trying to find it.

      1. Ryan (@ryannema17)
        5th July 2018, 23:59

        It’s a joke

        1. Not really funny

    2. Bless

  4. Strategic blunder is part of the campaign. It sucks, we all know, but that’s the way it is.

  5. Tell that to Ferrari! I think they have quite few titles lost because of this particular reason.

  6. Don’t worry, Hamilton. If the strategy errors make you not be in first in the WDC, you can always slow down in front of them to try and get them to have a crash like you did in 2016. Can’t wait!

    1. That was absolutely fair, rosberg was only in front because of hamilton’s bad luck and he had all rights to try and win the title, in any way that didn’t go against the rules, I admire hamilton for that.

      1. ROS only in front because of HAMs bad luck….. ROFL I guess Ham only won 2014 and 2015 because of ROS bad luck (Abu Dhabi ERS failure, Monza blowup, Singapore steering wheel failure)… Aaaaah the old ‘Lewis was the victim’ chestnut..really?

        1. Abu Dhabi 2014

          – Hamilton went into the race leading the championship

          – Hamilton was leading the race when Rosberg’ ERS failed

          Australia – Spark plug lead failure

          Germany – Brake failure in qualifying

          Hungary – car catches fire during qualifying

          How many races did Rosberg start from the back of the grid from 2014-16?


          Hamilton led the championship from start to finish.

    2. Hamilton slowed down infront of the 2016 wdc? Who was that and why didn’t he just pass him, he sounds terrible.

      1. @guffdamm Why can’t 4x WDC HAM pass other cars in the fastest car when he gets caught behind them? He sounds terrible! ;)

        1. I pretty sure no matter what answer you’re given, you won’t be satisfied.

    3. RP (@slotopen)
      6th July 2018, 2:37


      I thought that was fair, nicely executed, and entertaining. The team had the WCC wrapped up so there was no internal conflict. He was in the lead cause he was fastest. And Roseberg, after some whining, collected his podium and WDC.

      What I didn’t like that race was Rosberg squeezing Verstappen on the straight at high speed. That shouldn’t be allowed no matter who does it.

  7. Hamilton hopes reliability does not decide title
    Hamilton hopes strategy errors don’t decide title

    Seriously? This is all part of what the sport is. So many variables and whoever manages them all best, in most cases wins.

    1. These stories are kinda dumb, but just part of sports. It’s not like he’s seeking out a reporter to make a statement, he’s sitting in a press conference that he has to be at and was asked a question. He just gave the same answer that every other driver would have given because there is nothing else to add to the story. The question still gets asked and the story printed because the reports still need too write something to get paid, and maybe 1 time in 50, there’s something extra to add to the story.

  8. Why not? Its a team sport.
    Win as a team, lose as a team!

    1. And if it is indeed decided by reliablity and he’s the beneficiary, you’ll get comments like that of K above…

      “You only won because of Seb’ poor reliability”


  9. Best package of driver, team and car wins. That includes reliability and strategy.
    And as he said

    Hamilton added. “If you look at the season, it’s been like that for other teams, I think all teams,” he said. “If you look at Ferrari, they’ve lost points, I’m pretty sure the Red Bulls have lost points.

  10. Just to be clear – it was not strategy that cost him in Austria – it was reliability.

    I expect he also hopes reliability problems don’t decide the title either.

  11. The team wins or loses together. If he wants to start nitpicking, then his own off weekends should also be included.

  12. Australia 2018: Mercedes thought Lewis was close enough to Vettel to keep ahead even if Vettel would pit during VSC and let him pace instead uf push to get closer. Then when the VSC came Vettel kept ahead after all.

    China: While Red Bull managed to pit both cars at the safety car, but Mercedes missed the chance even though Lewis was behind Max.

    Austria: Mercedes missed the chance to pit Lewis during the VSC called out to safely remove Bottas’s car. The others did, and their new Softs proved to be quicker than the Supersofts Lewis started the race on. When he finally did come in, his set of Softs soon started blistering (pushed them too hard?) and the chance to get to the podium was blown. Then the car quit too.

    Australia cost him the win. China cost him a podium finish at the very least. Austria did not matter after all, assuming the breakdown had nothing to do with driver input. But better strategy and race data management would have helped him to a comfortable lead in the championship.

    1. Now make a list like this for Bottas, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Vettel and you will see that THAT’S RACING SNOWFLAKE!!!! Anyone can cry ‘poor me, woulda coulda shoulda’, but only 1 (and his fanatical fans) repeatedly does this. Its tiresome.

  13. You know what? He’s right that both mercedes, ferrari and red bull threw away points with strategy mistakes (except red bull, but they did for other reasons), however I’d hope more that the special tyres made for mercedes don’t decide the title, 3 races in which they’re unbeatable thanks to the tyres is a lot of points gifted.

    1. however I’d hope more that the special tyres made for mercedes

      They aren’t special tyres made for Mercedes, but hey keep repeating the lie because it totally makes you look smart!

      1. They are Merc tyres, made for Mercs testing issues. RedBull and Ferrari have questioned them. The illegal tyre test for Merc with Pirelli adds to the theory but Germans are like this. Have Merc protested the Ferrari paint colour yet?

      2. @Martin – They are tyres brought in at Mercedes team request. Keep lying and say it ain’t so but its there on record after pre season testing at Barcelona. They benefitted Mercedes at Barcelona and Paul Ricard, and they will benefit them at Silverestone. No blistering problems for Ferrari at Austria? So yes, only for the benefit of some teams, biggest being Mercedes. HAM himself bemoaned not having those tyres at Austria and for every race remaining. Sorry if this destroys your “Lewis’ heroic victory drive” narrative at Silverstone but it’ll be more like ‘tyres and engine allow Mercedes to cruise to 1-2 finish at British GP. Wonder what the story/excuse from HAM will be if Botttas wins though?? ;-)

        1. Care to show us that evidence that they were brought in for Mercedes?

  14. Hamilton has a right to be concerned. Mercedes’ strategy is to take pole positions, lead the race, and follow the other teams’ pit strategies.
    There are only 3 teams and 6 cars contending each week so most scenarios can be planned well in advance.
    I don’t know where they hire the strategists from but I am assuming they are family relations and not people with knowledge of game theory.

  15. I hear what people are saying about this being a “team” sport. And the team is certainly integral in a driver’s success. But it is a DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP for Lewis, and I think all he is saying is leave it to me, if I fail, I fail. I am absolutely certain every single driver would have this same wish.

    1. @waptraveler As long as every driver dont build their own cars for their driver championships they aint gonna have it.

      Hamilton is hired by the team and he owns it to them to not start crying after a bad call. It sounded like kindergarten when the Mercedes guys tried to soothe him to continue and not give up.

  16. I agree with what Hamilton has said, except with respect to RBR. I’m trying to think of a serious pitwall error that really cost them, except maybe not setting out team orders in Baku. And of course the Lederhosen in Austria were regrettable.

  17. JesusChrist
    6th July 2018, 1:20

    Getting his excuses in early in case he doesn’t win this year. Conveniently ignoring the stupid amount of bad luck his rivals have had this year compared to him, and the small fact that he’s had by far the least retirements of any world champion in history. He’s supremely lucky, yet acts like a flog all the time. How this tool has any fans at all is beyond me. They must all be naive children.

  18. So Mercedes is as toxic as McLaren now?

  19. AUSTalia – strategic blunder
    AUSTria – another strategic error
    AUSTin – ? … Watch out!

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