Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

Hamilton says Safety Car didn’t win him the race

2019 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton says he opted for the one-stop strategy which meant he would have won the British Grand Prix even if the Safety Car hadn’t appeared.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team had taken the unusual step of agreeing that whichever driver was running second could run an ‘offset’ strategy – i.e. switch to the hard tyre instead of taking a second set of mediums.

“In our strategy meeting in the morning actually the drivers brought up whether there was an offset strategy possible for the guy running second,” Wolff explained. “Because if you put them on the same tyre it is probably how the other race is going to end.

“So picking up on the suggestion we decided that the second place driver would run an offset strategy with a hard tyre in the middle. We weren’t quite sure whether one stop would make, probably rather thinking it would be a two, also because of a lack of data on the hard.”

Wolff said the appearance of the Safety Car helped swing the race in favour of Lewis Hamilton, who was running the ‘offset’ strategy.

“This is exactly how it panned out. Obviously both of them drove a brilliant race, both of them would have deserved to win the race and in that instance the Safety Car swung in favour of one driver.”

However according to Hamilton it wasn’t specified that the second-placed driver would run that strategy. He said the decision was made by him during the race.

“It wasn’t agreed, it was said that we could,” said Hamilton. “So I looked at the options and of course I want to always try and offset.

“So when Bono [race engineer Peter Bonnington] came on the radio and said ‘what tyre do you want?’ I said ‘I want the hard’.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“Did we know that we could do a one-stop with it? Not really. But as soon as I got onto it, it was quite strong and didn’t look like it was particularly starting to give up any time soon. So I decided to stay out.”

Hamilton said he was determined from that moment to complete the race without pitting again and he felt the appearance of the Safety Car made no difference to the outcome.

“I was going to do a one stop and [Valtteri Bottas] was on a two so it wouldn’t have made any difference. They Safety Car wouldn’t have made a difference.

“When he pitted on lap 16, I think it was, my plan was to offset as as much as I could. And so I think I went four laps or something and I probably could have done another lap or two.

“At the time he was not catching me. He should have been catching me but he was not catching me and I was keeping the gap generally the same. So he was only thinking he came out the pits seven-tenths inside my window – so I would have pitted and he would have been seven-tenths ahead – and then it came to one, then one-and-a-half but it stayed around one-and-a-half to two.

“If I’d done another lap it probably would have got to two-and-a-half maybe and I would have come out on my fresh hards and I could have just sat behind him if I wanted to and then he would have had to pit. So I would have still had that 21-second gap.

“So it didn’t really make a difference. Even I was behind him, I would of course try to overtake him, but in hindsight I didn’t actually need to do that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

92 comments on “Hamilton says Safety Car didn’t win him the race”

  1. It made it a bit easier for him, but my money would have still been on Hamilton without the safety car.

    He’d already backed off and a 2 second gap opened up between the two Mercs by the time Bottas pitted. Hamilton then appeared to be going longer before his own pit stop.

    So, he was either going to go:
    M-M-H like Bottas and if he came out ahead, then he’d use the fresher tyres to pull away and if he came out just behind, use the fresher tyres to make a shot at an on track pass and then have track position for the second stop.

    Or was always going to go M-H and one stop it, knowing that Bottas would have had no choic but to pit a second time.

    The safety car just simplified things, allowing him to pit and be out clear of Bottas. A VSC would have done exactly the same and wouldn’t have bunched them up like that Safety Car did. So ultimately, Safety Car or VSC, it would have made no difference.

    1. @nikkit – I agree that it was very likely Hamilton’s race. Very few people can keep him behind. And that a safety car came out didn’t win him the race. But the timing of it was very beneficial to his race. Bottas was reducing the gap after his own pit and would have been ahead.

      Had the safety car come out after Hamilton passed the pits, then they would have bunched up and then Hamilton’s pit stop would have happened in a much closer race, and then Bottas could have likely stopped again. Or if the safety car had come out after Bottas passed the pits, Bottas likely would have been ahead. Ifs and buts though.

      What I don’t understand though is why teammates continue to make strategy calls that leave Hamilton options. In this instance, Bottas could have stayed out or even if he came in when he did, put on hards. If Hamilton puts on hards, then go to the end. If Hamilton puts on mediums, then Bottas can push the tires and pit again late on softer tires than Hamilton when he pits again as well. Going M-M was a really bad move for Bottas. Because Hamilton is going to try something different, and either stay in second or beat him. Hamilton had nothing to lose and Bottas did. Bottas played it safe and lost.

      1. @hobo

        Oh yeah, not denying that the safety car helped him immensely. it made things easier for him for certain. As did Bottas’ strategy of putting mediums on at the first stop, it locked Bottas into a two stop whatever happened.

        Whatever might have happened had the safety car not come out, I do think Hamilton would have picked the strategy that gave him the best shot at victory, in this case a one stop with a a solid stint on hards.

        Would have been interesting to know just how much pace was in those hard tyres, considering he set the fastest lap at the end there, there was clearly plenty in them.

      2. @hobo I disagree. Had Hamilton passed the pitlane, he would just have pitted the following lap, still coming out ahead of Bottas as Bottas would still have to drive to a delta. If both Hamilton and Bottas had pitted, once again Bottas would have been behind him. And even if the safety car had come out after Bottas had passed the pitlane, he still would have to drive to a delta, he couldn’t go full speed.

      3. @hobo

        What I don’t understand though is why teammates continue to make strategy calls that leave Hamilton options. In this instance, Bottas could have stayed out or even if he came in when he did, put on hards.

        Bottas ruined his tyres defending against Hamilton and therefore had to pit early in his first stint. That basically locked him into a two stop strategy already.

        1. @f1osaurus – I don’t have the tire data to agree or disagree. But the lap count difference was 5, right? Maybe that was too far, but might as well cut off all options and go Hard on second stint. If it works, then BOT would be ahead with at least a chance. If it doesn’t, then he pits again anyway. But doing what he did—which he even admitted was a mistake—left the door open.

          If there is one thing that Hamilton in a dominant Mercedes does not need, it is for someone to leave a door open.

          1. @hobo Well Hamilton had intended to go 4 laps more on his first stint. So Probably Hamilton was already somewhat maxed out.

            Although they could have taken it slower if they were both on hard tyres. Hamilton had to equal the pace of Bottas on medium tyres.

            Either way, the 2 stop strategy was faster and if Bottas had gone for hard tyres, Hamilton could have picked the faster strategy and would have had even more pace advantage to overtake Bottas.

          2. @f1osaurus – I don’t disagree that Hamilton likely would have made a move on Bottas no matter what played out. My only point was that what Bottas did at the first stop gave him no options from that point forward. Hamilton had options.

            Also, having read this article—and assuming it is a fair reporting of the facts—it supports the story that Hamilton saw this option where the rest of the team did not. That shows yet again that Hamilton is a better driver than Bottas on every level. If Bottas was a supreme strategist but had a speed deficit to overcome, that would be one thing. But he is seemingly worse on tires, worse on general pace (by that I mean overall though he has his moments), and worse on strategy. That is an issue.

            Lots of people call Rosberg a washout because he had a hard time with Hamilton, and left after he won. But if you look at their time together, they were actually quite close. And while Rosberg will never be considered a great, to be that close to one of the greatest of all time for 4 years, means you’re at a really high level. Bottas isn’t there. Either he has to push to a level we haven’t seen or we need someone else in that seat.

          3. @hobo But the point is that he got stuck with that early pit stop ue to his own driving.

            Besides, the 2 stop strategy was deemed faster by pretty much everyone. Basically only Hamilton, Vettel and Gasly gambled on a 1 stop race because they had nothing to lose anyway.

            So Bottas choose the fastest strategy and he couldn’t make it work. That’s where the true issue lies.

          4. @f1osaurus – I feel like this is a theme. I understand that pre-race the generally agreed upon idea was that a two-stopper was faster. But:
            1. This wouldn’t be the first time that the data/strategy call was wrong.
            2. Things can always happen to mess that up. Say there was a super long SC period, and now a one-stopper was feasible.
            3. The point is he shut the door (admittedly with bad team data) on all other options. So once Bottas went M-M that was it. He could go S or H on the third stop but there was a third stop coming.

            So while Bottas closed all doors at his first stop, Hamilton opened doors. Hamilton didn’t KNOW that the tires would last, but he gave it a shot. I don’t think many (any?) would put Bottas in the same talent conversation as Hamilton. But to shoot himself in the foot on top of it… he will never beat Hamilton that way.

          5. @hobo
            1) So what?
            2) So what?
            3) Wrong. Bottas now had the option to go long on the second stint and if that worked he could do a short stint on soft. If he failed to go long enough he could switch to hard. If he had gone for hard he would have to gamble how long the tyres for his third stint would last. Plus he would be on hard tyres versus Hamilton on medium and he knew Hamilton was faster already and he would for sure be overtaken if he gave Hamilton even more of an speed advantage.

            So, medium was the best choice for Bottas at that time.

            Please stay with reality and not throw around random assertions and glass ball/hindsight observations

  2. Of course the Safety Car didn’t win him the race. When Lewis Hamilton wins a race, it’s always his own achievement, and the circumstances, however blatantly influential, never the deciding factor.
    A disgruntled lapped backmarker crashes into the untouchable race leader? It was kinda his own fault, wasn’t it? Had he been as wise as I, Lewis Hamilton, am, this would not have happened.
    The race-long leading team mate retires with a gearbox failure? Bah, I, Lewis Hamilton, was going to bring down the gap by over 4 seconds and then effortlessly fly by him anyway. If anything, that failure spared him the embarrassment.
    The (virtually) race-leading team mate gets screwed over by an ill-timed Safety Car which completely invalidates the presumed A strategy he had committed to just a handful of laps earlier, and additionally strips him of the track position he had successfully fought for? I, Lewis Hamilton, easily won this by myself, because I personally conceived an unbeatable strategy.
    Yeah …

    And people wonder why even British fans hold a clearly less talented driver such as Nigel Mansell in higher regard.

    1. And people wonder why even British fans hold a clearly less talented driver such as Nigel Mansell in higher regard.

      And yet Mansell was one of the biggest whingers and drama queens outside of the cockpit.

      No, the real reason they much of the British public don’t hold Lewis in the same regard is that they simply cannot relate to or understand his mindset or lifestyle choices and turn their own ignorance into a weapon against him, fuelled heavily by the media. If a sportsperson isn’t “British” enough for them, they will always find ways to undermine their achievements.

      As a Brit myself it’s embarrassing how even in this day and age so many of us consciously or even subconsciously use deep-seeded prejudices to shift the goal-posts in the way they judge different people.

      1. A critical message about Vettel, Max or Bottas is all normal but as soon as it’s about Lewis it’s all ‘deep-seeded prejudice’. Bah!!

        1. I’m speaking about the British public and media’s attitude towards a British sportsperson. Last time I checked, Vettel, Max and Bottas weren’t British. I think you’ve entered the wrong argument here.

      2. @ninjenius
        Okay. I’ll admit that the British fans weren’t really central to my point, but I used them for the sake of an argument anyway.

        Let me rephrase this:
        I (a non-Brit) struggle to hold Hamilton in high regard. This annoys me, as he is clearly very talented, and that is an understatement. However, any appreciation of his talent that goes beyond his on-track achievements is spoiled by the vapid, shallow, full-of-himself persona (I can’t rule out the possibility that he’s really a charming and interesting person in his private life, but I’m referring to the side of his personality he chooses to show to the public) that tends to issue anti-interesting statements that can usually be summed up as “I’m great, the others not so”, or, if they’re a tad more complex, stray into doublethink territory (see this article, where he essentially says he ignored his race engineer’s advice to stop chasing the fastest lap, but in the same breath bemoans the fact that those radio calls cost him a chance to set the fastest lap … Much cake was simultaneously had and eaten that day).
        So, there. It was about me the entire time. I only picked up on the whole British fans & Mansell thing because I heard about it in the context of the race weekend and possibly because I thought this would lend credence to my assumption that I’m not alone with this feeling. Whatever the case, I’m definitely not irked by the fact that Hamilton’s not British enough for my taste. That’d be like saying a steak isn’t green enough for my taste.

        1. Yes, it would certainly help if He was a bit more humble but I get the feeling that’s how a lot of top level sportsmen are and that self belief is a major driving force (pun not intended), having said that He is tough be fair on track

          1. @stjs16

            self belief is a major driving force (pun not intended)

            Pun appreciated regardless.

          2. What humble like Senna or Schumacher or Vettel or Alonso? Funny, I never really hear that complaint levelled at the majority of the worlds best sportsman.
            But I’m grateful that those who think he should be humble (or know his place) paraphrase what he said that offends them rather than give actual quotes; or explain that yes, he may have said this, but he really meant that; or to ‘sum up’ what he spent 5 minutes explaining into a one sentence soundbite that just so happens to confirm their prejudices.
            But what I’m really grateful for is Keith having the posting history facility on this site. Because in a lot of cases you don’t have to go far back in some posters history to find that what offends them about Hamilton doesn’t offend them when some other driver says or does the same thing. (This is not levelled at you btw)
            Saying that we had a billion pound industry run by some of the brightest minds in the world at Silverstone Sunday; all saying the same thing; and producing charts, graphs and strategies to prove the truth of it all. And one uppity young man saying ‘Nah, I think I’ll do it my way.’ I think if that was me I would also be walking round with a big self-satisfied grin on my face whilst rubbing my competitors noses in it.

          3. What humble like Senna or Schumacher or Vettel or Alonso?

            Or Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Bottas, Kubica, Raikkonen etc etc etc

            The problem people like you suffer nase is you are so incredibly biased that you argue Hamilton is not humble when he has self belief and then whenever he does say something humble you write it off as PR speak. He literally cannot win.

      3. If you presume to know better than people who dislike Hamilton why they dislike him, you’re not one to talk about prejudice :)

    2. And people wonder why even British fans hold a clearly less talented driver such as Nigel Mansell in higher regard.

      According to…? Ask Silverstone – or indeed anyone with a vested interest in Formula 1 – just how popular Hamilton is. And what that’s worth.

      Alternatively check out the video of Hamilton taking Frank Williams round Silverstone in a Mercedes. If you can’t see the tact, charm, generosity, care and humour with which Hamilton ‘hosted’ Williams in his car as he drove him round, there’s really no hope for you. Whatever you had against LH, people mature. It’s an observation. And advice.

      1. Funny isn’t it, he said he is not British and then he goes and makes a statement on behave of the British public.

      2. LOVED the Williams video. @david-br

        I don’t care anymore about the anti-Hamilton obsessives. At this point they are just diddling themselves out of the privilege it is to get to see a true great at the peak of his powers.

        He’s always been a great talent, he has fulfilled that talent and then some. What’s more, he is growing into being a truly great man.

    3. @nase

      The timing of the safety car was beneficial to Hamilton. However, Bottas had already committed to a two-stop. So they both still had one stop to make. All Hamilton had to do was stay close and it was his even without the safety car. Bottas messed up here going M-M and forcing a third stop; had he gone M-H he would have had strategy options and forced Hamilton’s hand. Then either Hamilton would have had to follow his pit strategy or go M-M, at which point Bottas goes one-stop. Bottas messed up.

      1. @hobo
        Thank you for your civilised comment, which I would largely subscribe to.
        I’m not saying Hamilton definitely wouldn’t have won the race without the Safety Car. I’m just saying that Bottas was screwed over in a major way by its timing, suffering a double whammy of lost track position and a suddenly obsolete strategy. In hindsight, we now know that Hamilton’s one-stopper was probably the faster strategy (a strategy he didn’t even know he was on before Bottas made his pit stop), but without the perfect storm that hit Bottas (and additionally helped Hamilton by shortening the distance his tyres had to survive at racing speed), it would’ve been a much bigger ask than basically cruising to the finish line. It’s his way of dealing with this that irks me.

        1. Thank you for your civilised comment, which I would largely subscribe to

          So you largely subscribe to exactly what Hamilton said? Interesting. Almost like your problem is purely with who said it as opposed to what was said.

          1. Your attempts at psychoanalysis are as much of a waste of time as everything else you’ve penned. I’d say I tire of you, but in all fairness, that point has been reached a while ago.

          2. So once again you can’t actually defend anything you’ve said.

    4. The problem is that Hamilton is highlighting that his team was stiching up Bottas by pitting him unexplicably early.

      1. @peartree

        Bottas had hurt his tyres. See Mark Hughes Motorsport magazine report for details.

        1. @paulguitar you need a pair of glasses, clear glasses.

          1. Are you suggesting @peartree that Velteri’s own team and race engineer are lying?

      2. The problem is that Hamilton is highlighting that his team was stiching up Bottas by pitting him unexplicably early.

        Nope the problem is you are just making stuff up

  3. I just think regardless, no-one was going to beat Hamilton on the day. Bottas did really well though and didn’t seem too disappointed after the race.

    1. @johns23 As if it was scripted… Bottas should ask for more money or look for glory elsewhere. Man’s got to make a living.
      It’s back to Rosberg’s days, why is that when Bottas is in front, suddenly Mercedes has 2 strategies, one for Ham and one for Bot and apparenlty it is as if Bottas does not know Ham’s strategy but Ham knows Bottas. It’s worse than Schumacher’s era.

      1. @peartree

        It sounds like you are not understanding the races fully.

    2. @johns23 What? Bottas looked absolutely gutted after the race.

  4. So they were planning on giving him the preferred strategy anyways and Bottas the botched strategy… brilliant

    Well with that game plan I guess he would have won anyway

    1. As long as you ignore all the facts, statements from the team, post race comments from both drivers Bottas saying he got it wrong, etc, and replace them with a conspiracy theory that just happens to tie in with your preconceived notions; then yes, you are spot on.

      1. @riptide
        Did I say the team intentionally did it? I chose the words preferred and botched after watching the race and seeing that Hamilton’s strategy was better. It just turned out like that.

        When Hamilton did go on softs I thought right yep that’s win there. I’m sure the team weren’t sure which strategy was better before the race by the statements

        1. The preferred was the Bottas one. Yes, after the race and with hindsight it was clearly the wrong one (assuming Bottas could keep the tyres alive like Hamilton did), but it was still the preferred strategy at the time. But I see what you mean. And for all we know the proposed Hamilton strategy could have also been a bad one. He was the one who changed it on the fly from a two stop to a one stop strategy.
          I take it you meant when Hamilton did go on hards? (not softs); and yes I thought the same thing; there is no way he is going to stop again.

          1. Yea exactly
            @riptide

            Bottas also agreed to it pre-race, tbh I don’t know why… I think I would have chosen a one stop before the race.

          2. The two stop strategy was faster. Most drivers did two stops. Bottas simply couldn’t make it work.

    2. Why was it a botched strategy. In theory Bottas should have been able to go faster on his tyres because he did not need to look after them for as long. He really should have been well clear of Hamilton by the first stop. Then hammer home more fast laps on the mediums while Hamilton was on the hards. Then he had softs at the end to secure first place. However what actually happened was that Hamilton matched his pace in the first stint, while seemingly managing to look after his tyres better despite being in the turbulent air for the entire time. Then when Bottas came in, Hamilton set fastest lap! Then when hamilton was on hards he was pulling away from bottas on who was on meduims then when bottas switched to softs Hamilton set fastest lap on the very used hards!

      1. @LeeFear
        You answered it yourself! Let’s say the safety car didn’t happen… Hamilton would have done a longer first stint and then maintained the hard tyres in the end to withstand any pressure from Bottas.
        Hamilton knows how to manage the tyres and it showed with the fastest lap, so I’m pretty sure he would have covered Bottas and won.
        That’s why it was botched cause either way Hamilton was going to win due to the better strategy. If Bottas also had the same strategy it would have gotten really fun at the end, like Baku but with more pressure

      2. You said it yourself! Let’s say there was no safety car. Hamilton would have pitted a bit later, come behind Bottas, inherit the lead after bottas second pit, and would have comfortably kept it due to good tyre management.

        If both did a one stop, that would have been really exciting in the end with Hamilton putting on immense pressure… would Hamilton win that?

        1. That’s why it’s a botched strategy cause even if there was no safety car Hamilton would have still won

          1. Yeah. I don’t really know how Bottas wouldn’t have seen this coming.

          2. Nope. The strategy for Bottas should have been a good one. He should have been able to go quicker but was not able to do so. Hamilton basically drove better and hence put himself in a position to benefit.

          3. Ipsom No that just shows that Bottas botched his strategy.

            Or rather that Bottas set up his car only for Q3 while Hamilton indeed had the 7 tenths advantage from his race pace based setup he was talking about

    3. Bottas already ruined his tyres way too early on ion the first stint to be able to deal with Hamilton’s strategy. Hamitlon took a gamble and made it work. Bottas could never have done that because he didn’t have the setup for a good race pace and therefore he was unable to manage his tyres and still go fast enough like Hamilton was.

  5. Lol, no it just gifted him the lead????!

  6. True, VB77 was denied the W in the strategy meeting before the race, SC or no

    1. @uneedafinn2win You do of course realize that Bottas could have chosen any strategy he wanted, before and during the race? He also had strategy preference being in the lead? The only difference was that Mercedes (thankfully!) dropped their insistence on the drivers having to adopt the same strategy in this race (where they were well ahead of the other teams). Bottas will have grounds to complain if he isn’t allowed the same in future races where Mercedes expect to have a clear race advantage.

  7. Bottas already said his strategy was a mistake. So be it… It still has to be said it was a very lucky timing of the safety car for Hamilton and definitely gave him a huge advantage, even if it wasn’t the sole reason for his win.

    1. @skipgamer Bottas failed to make his strategy to work, but that was because he couldn’t manage his tyres. Let alone that he could have managed them even better and made a stop less!

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    15th July 2019, 8:51

    I thought him Hamilton was the likely winner anyway after seeing the apparent pace difference early on.

    Pre-Giovinazzi, I was expecting him to go M-H-M to Bottas’ M-M-H, as I know Mercedes have run offset strategies between their drivers in the past. Then use superior pace to stay close in the middle part of the race, and most likely complete a pass for the lead on the quicker tyre in the final stint.

    The SC ruined the excitement of it, but I don’t think it changed the result (outside the top two).

  9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    15th July 2019, 9:25

    Nah. It helped him hugely – without it he’d have had to work for it instead of it landing in his lap on a day Bottas looked much better than him.

    He’s as painful at winning as he is at losing.

    1. @rocketpanda, that does then beg the question of, if “Bottas looked much better than him”, why was Bottas then not pulling away from Hamilton in the opening stint of the race?

      1. @anon
        Good question. Any answer @rocketpanda? Why was Bottas unable to pull away at the start, go any faster than Hamilton on new mediums, or catch him after the SC when Hamilton was on hard tyres, or keep the point for fastest lap, his soft tyre time beaten by his team mate on 30-lap hard tyres? Or maybe just define what ‘looking much better’ is in your view, maybe that’s the issue here, some unique definition?

        1. Some people think paler skin looks better :/

          1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
            15th July 2019, 14:14

            ‘Looking much better’ – beat a qualifying specialist to pole on a track Hamilton excells at, kept the lead at the start, was overtaken and immediately retook the lead and held it until pitting and would have kept the lead after Hamilton pitted if not for an unfortunate safety car. Bottas before the safety car was doing all he needed to do to win. Without the safety car, Hamilton likely would still have won but it would have been a lot harder.

            As for what your insinuating however I’m not going to grace that with a response. Don’t sprain your arm from that reach.

    2. @rocketpanda

      “without it he’d have had to work for it instead of it landing in his lap on a day Bottas looked much better than him”

      We are talking about the 2019 British GP here, which race are you referring to ?

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        15th July 2019, 11:07

        Bottas took pole and beat Hamilton at a track he’s generally very good at on merit with no issues. He maintained the lead at the start and also fought Hamilton off for the entire first stint when Hamilton usually breezes past people. Hamilton briefly got ahead and Bottas came right back at him and took it back. Like I never expected Bottas to put up such a fight at one of Hamilton’s specialist tracks but he actually did?

        Without the saftey car Bottas would have come out ahead of Hamilton easily. The ‘chance of overtake’ thing pointed that out along with the commentators. Sure Bottas would have had to stop again so there’s every chance Hamilton would have beaten him anyway but if it wasn’t for the saftey car erasing Bottas’s advantage and giving Hamilton a free pitstop to retain the lead and dumping Bottas on the worst strategy he could be on, it would have been a lot harder work for Hamilton to win.

        Hamilton didn’t necessarily win because of the saftey car but it certainly made it A LOT easier.

    3. What race did you watch to see Bottas as being much better than him?

      Hamilton was all over Bottas early on, then faster than him while on hards after the safety car before finally banging out the fastest lap while on worn hard tyres.

      Bottas bested Hamilton on Saturday, but on Sunday Hamilton was by far the quicker racing driver

    4. @rocketpanda Bottas only looked better in Q3 yes, but that was because Hamilton set up his car for long run pace. Which meant that indeed Bottas looked awful on race day. Bottas ruined his tyres during the first stint in record time. Which forced him into an early stop and therefore a 2 stop strategy which would have lost him the race no matter if there was a safety car or not.

  10. Let’s wait and see what happens when Lewis has to actually drive that Mercedes flat out to win and has to fight Charles or Max . Only then will we see if he is as good as his car. And yes that safety car gifted him the win basically.

    1. Yeah, I’m still not convinced he’s all that great. By all means, an excellent driver, but i cannot imagine he’s at Prost/Fangio levels of greatness. I think the depressing season of his “main rival” shows how low the level has been for a while; these guys really need a perfect car, otherwise they’re nowhere. Hopefully the new kids will start showing them the way before they retire in fear of some schooling.

    2. Hamilton was quicker on hard than Bottas on medium. Safety car gave him the lead of the race quicker than planned but Bottas still had one pitstop to make. Do you really believe that Bottas would have been capable of creating a 20s gap with Hamilton ? Do you really think that he would have been capable of running 1s faster than Hamilton ?

      The safety car gave him the lead, but the strategy gave him the win.

    3. Yes its quite clear Bottas would have won the race by chosing to do the extra pitstop and going slower on the mediums and softs then Hamilton was on hards. Hell if Mercedes had fitted 32 lap old hard tyres on Bottas’s car at the end instead of the softs, he would have got the fastest lap as well.
      As for Horner, Max and Leclerc all saying post race that Hamilton was untouchable; well what do they know.

      1. As for Horner, Max and Leclerc all saying post race that Hamilton was untouchable; well what do they know.

        They know their cars are 1 minute slower over a race distance. Credit to them for being humble.
        Verstappen cant have an equal car then beat Lewis in every race.

        1. Yet every one of the three said they thought second place was achievable. So Max, Leclerc and Horner all thought the Merc was beatable. Credit to them for all recognising on this occasion the driver made the difference, not the car. Shame others can’t (or won’t see it that way).

    4. “Let’s wait and see what happens when Lewis has to actually drive that Mercedes flat out to win ”

      I suggest you go and watch the 2014 Bahrain race were he drove on right on the edge of a slower tire against a driver in the same car on faster tires. Or even more recently, the Monza 2018 race where he took on the faster Ferrari’s?

      Do people like you like to blank out those races?

      1. As much as they blank Austria 2 weeks ago.

        1. I assume @bigjoe that you did not bother to read any reports of the race explaining the cooling issues that stopped Mercedes running flat out?

    5. @ w0o0dy

      Let’s wait and see what happens when Lewis has to actually drive that Mercedes flat out to win and has to fight Charles or Max

      Has already happened and in any case where have you been pre 2019? Hamilton hasn’t always had the best car but proved he is one of the best, if not the best driver on the grid before the hybrid era. Think back to 2008 when he won against the faster Ferrari and a then competitive Massa. Or winning a few races in 2009 in a Mclaren that wasn’t the class of the field. Or in 2010 being in the championship hunt at the last race. IMO HAM has improved since then and is even more of a complete driver now, particularly after he lost the championship to Rosberg.

  11. Of course Lewis it was all you. What a load of bull. The lead driver chose the faster tyre strategy naturally. Its his dilemma but all his options were removed by the safety car and Lewis benefitted clearly. This guy is a joke with his self promotion.

  12. The lady doth protest too much, methinks, and not for the first or last timeth…

  13. Bottas committing to a two stop race at the first stop won Lewis the race.
    Lewis had to try alternative stretegy at the first stop and unlucky for Bottas that was the best and fastest stretegy. Bottas said after the race that Mercedes was convinced after Friday that two stopper was the fastest but it proved to be wrong on Sunday.
    Also Lewis was much faster in the race trim on both tires than Bottas so it was very likely Lewis would win.

    1. You place no significance on Bottas using up his tyres in clean air faster than Lewis did in dirty air; on Lewis being faster on 32-lap old hard tyres than Valtteri on fresh softs?

      I suspect that Valtteri chose a good qualy set up while Lewis optimised race set up.

      1. @gnosticbrian

        I agree with you, Bottas needs to work on his race pace and it is going on for some races now (even at Baku where he won). He is clearly lacking race pace compared to Lewis and might be focused too much on qualifying.

        1. @amg44 The sad thing is that that is all Bottas has right now. He bets everything on Q3 and hopes he gets pole and that Hamilton won’t be allowed/able to get past on Sunday. In Baku it worked, in Silverstone it failed horribly.

          In fairness Bottas is only trying to beat Hamilton. While Hamilton is trying to beat everybody so in a way it makes sense how they focus. Although at the moment that’s probably more of an academic difference.

  14. Clearly, some great sportsman can’t say they are greats. Others can.
    If Hamilton says his form isn’t at it’s summit, we blame is arrogance. If he says that someone was better than him, we find some PR talk. Wichever he says, he’s wrong.

    1. Lewis said his most consistent seasons were 2007 and 2017. He’s right as he’s always had seasons were he has dips in form or outraced by team mates 3 times and equalled once.

  15. Even though the safety car helped he would win anyway. He utterly crushed Bottas. Even got the fastest lap at the end of the race with 32 laps old hard tyres. While I did enjoy last race, I just wish it was Max or Charles next to Lewis at Mercedes.

  16. Michael Ward
    15th July 2019, 16:13

    Sure Lewis, we believe you.
    Going from 1.5 seconds behind to a pitstop in front had no bearing on your race.

  17. We saw last year him up against a Ferrari car that was largely considered to be the fastest car over the course of the season. He won the championship by Mexico

  18. BOT knew that HAM used and abused him on Sunday. Team Mercedes agreed in the morning that the 2nd place driver could do an alternative strategy. So what happens. Competitive HAM comes out of the gate battling BOT for first. And then what happens? BOT “takes” back the lead from HAM. Or does the experienced HAM let BOT pass him so he ends up in 2nd place and can switch to an alternative strategy? At the end BOT looked pretty dejected with 2nd place and had to be thinking he was a fool for taking the lead back from HAM and ending up having to follow the planned strategy.

  19. I have an opinion
    16th July 2019, 9:24

    Please help me out, fellow fanatics. In my admittedly patchy following of the race, the only strategy call that I witnessed a driver make was Hamilton’s polite refusal to pit about six laps prior to the end.
    Did either Bottas or Hamilton actually make any further strategy calls, or were other pitstops and their timing, as well as choice of tyres, all decided by the pitwall?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.