Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2018

Hamilton: I thought Ferrari made wrong call on tyres

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he thought Ferrari had made a mistake by picking intermediate tyres for Q3 the instant he saw them.

Ferrari were the only team to begin Q3 on intermediates and had to pit immediately to replace them. Hamilton took pole position while championship rival Sebastian Vettel was only able to qualify ninth.

Hamilton said it was “very, very difficult” to know if the track conditions were going to be like for the final part of qualifying.

“We obviously haven’t done any practice in the wet and it looked like it was going to be wet for Q3. So it’s definitely not a great feeling when you go into Q3 knowing that you’ve had the pace to be at the front and knowing that mistakes can come in those tricky conditions, depending on how hard you push. But we’re all in the same boat.

“We remained in the garage, we said we should probably sit here and wait for someone else to go out first. The Ferraris pulled out of the garage on the inters and I honestly didn’t think it was the right decision. Obviously we made the right decision as a team.”

Daniel Ricciardo said he was surprised by Ferrari’s decision and suggested it was motivated by their position in the championship.

“Maybe if I was trying to defend them I would say they’ve kind of not got much to lose now and the gap to Lewis is quite big so if it did pay off, if it started [raining hard], they’re likely to be the cars on the front row.

“So maybe it was a risk they needed to take. If they weren’t thinking of this attacking, aggressive approach then it was a strange decision.”

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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...
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...

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  • 6 comments on “Hamilton: I thought Ferrari made wrong call on tyres”

    1. This focus on Vettel. Ultimately all in the top ten were only able to make one good run. Kimi made his round count (albeit with a small mistake), and Vettel didn’t. Ferrari’s mistake with tyre choices was not terminal.

      1. I think the mistake with the tyres might have contributed – by putting a bit of extra pressure on Vettel @neurocynical. But yeah, it was the driver who messed up his own lap.

    2. This mistake actually helped Ferrari. It meant they did their qualifying laps a few minutes and had the best and most dry racetrack. Mercedes was still a dominant force today but Vettel and Raikkonen could easily have been on the second row if not for their mistakes. For the third weekend in a row the silver cars are the ones to beat.

      1. Yes, this is what I hate the most: did fia intervene to make mercedes dominant again? Why?

        I seem to remember in 2005 that the fia doesn’t want teams to dominate for several seasons and step in to STOP the domination, not to HELP it!

        Or maybe that is only true vs schumacher, not hamilton.

        Until now I could say ferrari was slightly the best car this year, with a slight performance and reliability advantage, if this race shows what we think we could already start saying that across the year mercedes has been equal or better than ferrari and there’s still 4 races, making it easily the best car with this trend, just like in 2017, ferrari crumbled later on.

    3. do people seriously think that ferrari would sit idly by and not sue or complain publically , if FIA was trying to sabotage them and help merc? are we really that naive .

    Comments are closed.