Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019

Hamilton: Race went wrong when we put slicks on in the rain

2019 German Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his German Grand Prix took a turn for the worse when he pitted for slick tyres just as fresh rain started to fall.

The Mercedes driver led the opening stages of the race on intermediate tyres. However when Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen pitted for medium rubber on the drying track Hamilton waited before following them. He eventually came in and switched to soft rubber, but by then more rain had begun to fall.

“The turning point was when they put slicks on when it was still wet” said Hamilton afterwards. “It was difficult because other people had put slicks on. But I stayed out because it was still wet.

“I kept going for it as far as I could on the inters. And as they called me in I could see there was more rain coming down. But they have usually more knowledge than I do. If I’d said to put the inters on and it was the wrong call it could have been costly.”

However as Hamilton came into the pits more rain was beginning to fall. This caught out Charles Leclerc, who crashed out of the race.

“I think it just happened at the time they put my slicks, on the same time as when Leclerc went off, it just started to rain more,” said Hamilton. “The timing was off.”

Hamilton then hit the barrier himself close to where Leclerc crashed.

“I’m only human,” he said when asked about the crash. “I don’t really have anything to say about it. It was a mistake, mistakes happen.”

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2019 F1 season

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47 comments on “Hamilton: Race went wrong when we put slicks on in the rain”

  1. Lewis, Mercedes, just regroup and do the proper work next race.

    1. maybe not the next race, let them regroup for a bit. We need the Hungarian GP to be torrid hot and Mercedes out of shape. This way we could just have a small chance of not knowing the champion(s) before the summer break.

  2. One more lap and he would stop for inters again and the race was in his pocket to lose.
    He lucked into so many occasions like this in the past, it was his time to bite the dust.

    1. “The turning point was when they put slicks on when it was still wet”

      What happened to “We win as a team and we lose as a team”.

      1. Yeah I noticed the ‘they’ not ‘we’ comment too, typical Lewis really… Cue hyper defensive HAM fans..

        1. yup, a lots of ‘they’ in this interview where normally it’s all about ‘we’ when he’s winning. Apparently that’s the difference between winning and whining.

      2. exactly my thoughs, the use of “they” instead of “we” clearly shows he helds the team responsible for the outcome. Which (in part) is true, but it was just a not-inspired call (given that everyone was on slicks), it wasn’t a really bad call like Ferrari usually make.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          29th July 2019, 18:33

          @gechichan Which makes perfect sense if you actually think about it. When Hamilton feels the conditions are ready for slicks then it’s his call. When the team calls him in for slicks just when it’s starting to rain then it’s not his call. The team should have checked the weather radar and seen the rain coming.

          It was a really bad call. Just like the one Ferrari made for Leclerc BTW.

  3. And as they called me in I could see there was more rain coming down. But they have usually more knowledge than I do. If I’d said to put the inters on and it was the wrong call it could have been costly.

    It’s been Lewis’s one weak spot down the years, a tendency to go against his own intuition and accept the team’s judgement when they don’t actually have the same info that he does as a driver. In these rapidly changing situations, I’d go with the driver’s intuition. Verstappen decided for himself and won the race. Lewis should have asked for inters. Worrying that he’d then be responsible for going against the team’s advice shouldn’t be an issue.

    1. Verstappen also had a stop where he clearly did not decide for himself. He was moaning over the radio that they switched him to Mediums, which was really a bad idea given how hard those tyres were to switch on.

    2. Barbara Melville
      29th July 2019, 15:41

      And yet at Silverstone he overruled the call to change tyres from the hards towards the end of the race and decided himself to go for the fastest lap when his engineers advised against it. Lewis did say before he pitted that he didn’t think the slicks were the right choice. I think he was really under par yesterday and didn’t think through the calls clearly.

  4. LOL the “rain meister” blames the slicks!!
    [and the team!]

      1. REvelling in someones failure, that’s great! Bear in mind all the too runners who were on slicks at the time bar Valtteri slide of the track.

    1. Max was expecting the softs…. so He did well after the pirolet.

  5. HAM can’t cope, can’t stand the heat…. so he cracked.

  6. He doesn’t come across particularly well there does he? Seeming to blame the team and calling them ‘they’, as if dissasociating himself from them. Having said that Mercedes’ decisions were strange – they should have pitted Bottas earlier under the Leclerc safety car, and during the penultimate safety car, but they didn’t do the latter because they didn’t want to compromise Hamilton…

    1. Yes, I noticed that too.

      No toe-curling “my team of 400 guys are all so wonderful” quotes today. Yet another reason to love this race.

  7. He made quite a few mistakes today, but he is allowed to have a day like that. He has been superb for many months / years now.

    1. I absolutely agree. Hamilton has been in spectacular form for quite a while now. I just think it looks awful when for the first time in a while things havent quite gone his way and he’s thrown the team under the bus again.

      1. Which blame exactly???

    2. Yes, ever since he was in a Mercedes from 2014 he’s been great… But then everyone who has been in a Mercedes since 2014 has been great.

      1. They where at their best during Spain GP 2016.

      2. if it were just a matter of having a good car to look good, Vettel wouldn’t be in a crisis for almost a full season.

  8. Strangely enough the racewinner also got slicks in the rain. Poor job and poor attitude Lewis.

    1. ‘racewinner’ also span on said slicks, also.

      1. The race winner also moaned over the radio about it being the wrong tyre… but of course that all gets forgotten.

        1. Nope, he didn’t moan about getting slicks, but about getting medium tyres as they were even harder to warm up than the softs HAM crashed on. So all in all, HAM even had the benefit of running better slicks than VER or BOT and he still crashed. Can happen, but definitely not only the team’s mistake.

          1. @morales
            That is really weird, anywone know why Verstappen ran on mediums?

          2. @rethla yeah, because they wanted to save his last soft set (new) for the last part of running. In the end it turned out to be the right choose, because his softs in the last 10-15 laps gave him the option to drive away more easily after each SC.

    2. He also lost control of his car, he was just luckier.

      1. But ofc..

        1. Glad you agree

      2. Joining the HAM’s side now: LEC binned it because of the slicks. That’s when everybody realized for sure it’s not the time for slicks, and they went back to Inters.

    3. I am a bit at a lost as to what the bad attitude of ham is…Did you guys read the whole article?

      “I’m only human,” Hamilton said when asked about the crash. “I don’t really have anything to say about it. It was a mistake, mistakes happen.”

  9. Posted this on another article but think it makes sense here too.

    I’ve got to say that I feel Lewis’ penalty was harsh and ultimately finished his race. Are we really saying that because his missed a board a damaged car that pathetically could gave soewes broken bits all over the track should have gone around the entire circuit when the outs is right in front of him.

    Also the team fine penalty for Ferrari for (was it Leclerc or Vettle can’t remember)? That one just felt a bit bloody strange.

    1. Speeding and aquaplaning out during safetycar where an tractor is? Im gonna say his penalty was waaaaay to lenient. Also those 5secs didnt at all affect his race.

      The team fine for Leclerc i agree with but ultematly it didnt give any advantage to Leclerc whatsoever so it would be a bit harsh to punish him.

      1. The 5 sec penalty did affect his race badly since the team decided not to pit at the SC because serving the penalty would cause him to lose more positions. Also, they did not pit Bottas for strategy equity, so affected him as well.

        1. @Wooolfy1
          Thats just what the team said to calm Hamilton, they had a gap waaay bigger than 5sec.

      2. are you stupod or u dont comprehend things well?

      3. There was no speeding mate, that’s a slam dunk penalty and would have been picked up by the computer so lets clear that lie up straight away.

        As for aqua planing sure, it happens as max verstappen leclerc Hulkenberg and many others showed.

        The penalty was massive, in a race where the field was bunched up from safety cars. He pitted and went from from 3rd to 11th.

        And I just don’t get it are we really saying that Hamilton should have drove around the track left body parts on a track during a wet race, when he could have just gone straight into the pits?

        The bollard is there for safety right, Hamiltons approach into the oits surely was the safest option, I just don’t understand how the context of the situation wasn’t recognised. Especially when you look at how lenient Lecrlercs penalty was for something way more hazardous.

        1. Patrick Bogers
          29th July 2019, 8:11

          By entering the pit lane on the wrong side of the bollard he basically cut a corner and gained an advantage, hence the 5 sec penalty. Driving a full lap even without losing any more parts would have costs him more than 5secs hence the reason he cut across the track to enter the pit.

          LEC was a slam dunk penalty, the actual given penalty was to lenient a dangerous precedent

        2. @Yloops
          Hes requiered to be able to stop within sight during safetycar and he was driving so fast he hit the wall, thats slam dunk speeding clear as day. Not only did he hit the wall but he did it where Leclerc was exiting the car and marshals preparing to salvage his car with a tractor kinda exactly like the Bianchi accident. It shows that F1 safety has learned absolutely nothing but at least the thong looks nice right?

          And regarding Hamilton driving around the track leaving parts… NO if its a safety issue for him to continue he should retire the car not driving and not shortcutting into the pitlane.

          The 5sec penalty is pathetic to what he did, luckily his team punished him properly in the pitlane.

  10. Which blame exactly???

  11. Verstapen is clearly the best driver.

  12. Interestingly, last year they gave him fresh tires when it started to rain and it worked very well (presumably because those fresh tires had more rubber and could therefore retain more heat). Possibly Mercedes tried something similar today.
    It seems Magnussen’s reasonably competitive lap times on slicks caused many teams to believe that slicks were the way to go, but the third sector was still too wet for slicks at that stage. Slicks only looked good because they were compared with completely worn intermediates.

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