Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2018

Hamilton: Decision not to pit was “most confusing second and a half”

2018 German Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said the frantic moment when he decided to turn out of the pit lane entry in the German Grand Prix was the “most confusing second and a half”.

The Mercedes driver was investigated by the stewards for leaving the pit lane entrance after initialling committing to a pit stop during the Safety Car period.

Hamilton’s radio messages during the moment revealed confusion on the Mercedes pit wall as to whether he should come in. His team mate Valtteri Bottas had already arrived in the pit box but was delayed because the team did not have tyres ready for him.

Hamilton said he was surprised when he was told to pit.

“It was the most confusing second and a half,” he said. “I honestly thought I was going to stay out.

“I was happy with my tyres and then they said come in and I saw Valtteri ahead coming in so I was like ‘are they sure about it’?

“By the time I got in they were like ‘no, stay out’. It was literally like ‘go left, go right’. I just slowed down and trundled over some grass and made sure I joined the track as safely as I could.

“I don’t know if you heard the radio afterwards because it was the most confusing couple of second, they were shouting in my ear ‘go left, go right’.”

Hamilton was reprimanded for his actions but kept the victory he took from 14th on the grid.

“It’s been the most emotional day, up and down,” he said. “No one ever wants to go and see the stewards. They have the hardest job because every scenario is always different. But this has just been an unbelievable day.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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10 comments on “Hamilton: Decision not to pit was “most confusing second and a half””

  1. Alex McFarlane
    22nd July 2018, 19:08

    Had there not been the issue with Bottas’ pit stop, would he have come in and would that have meant another botched call on the part of Mercedes’ strategists?


    Oh well it somehow all worked out for Lewis with a brilliant drive today.

    1. I was thinking this exactly. Although it would still have meant a Merc 1-2 with Bottas winning. Maybe Lewis could have dropped into 3rd or 4th by the time his tyres got up to Temps if it was Kimi and Verstappen chasing him instead of Valterri.

      1. Can you imagine if Hamilton had come in, it would have been to place him on intermediates, since he was already on the superfasts. And with the weather in the end not quite warantying a change, he might have been forced to change back to slicks or waste time defending on intermediates.

        Then there’s the Bottas delay. Imagined If Hamilton’s tire changed was botched for 6 -16seconds? Bottas might well have gone on to win, which Mercedes so wanted, but i have the feeling Raikkenen would either have taken second, or been close enough to Hamilton to put another Farrari spanner in the works. Now would have been drama.

        so much for what if’s..

    2. They would’ve replaced his Very New US tyres with another set of New US Tyres.. :D

  2. Total panic in the strategy dept of Mercedes. Ham is very lucky with his reprimand and the way this race developed in his favor.
    Lots of luck and according to Ham himself some support from above. That must have been the rain and the crashing of vettel.

    1. I think Vettel just dropped it all by himself.

    2. Hamilton’s Spider sense :::

      ‘There’s a red car in front of me, is now really a good time to come in?’
      ‘I am on fresh tires, what’s the garage going to change me to?’ –
      ‘Did he just says something about distance to Bottas?’
      ‘They don’t sound so sure’

      Hamilton’s Spider sense ::: abort abort abort

  3. Very, very, very, very lucky Lewis lately.
    His championship could have been almost over after the last two races. But somehow he comes out on top.

  4. I bet ye Ferrari is going to fight this decision hard.

  5. Smart of Hammy.

    He knew that Bottas on new tyres would not be allowed to pass him.

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