Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Hamilton wanted to start the race on medium tyres

2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he wanted to start the Eifel Grand Prix on the medium tyres, but was overruled by his Mercedes team.

Both Mercedes drivers ran the medium tyre compound at the beginning of Q2, as did three other drivers. Hamilton set a considerably quicker time on his mediums than the others, lapping second-fastest.

Nonetheless Mercedes chose to put him and Bottas on softs for their final runs. They set their quickest times on those tyres, meaning they will have to start the race on them.

“I could have got through on that tyre,” said Hamilton. “I wanted to start on it just because I always like to so something different. But the team chose for us to both be on the same tyre.”

However Hamilton is confident the team have chosen the best tyre for him to start the race on. “We’ll see whether it was the right choice tomorrow. I’m sure it’s the right choice, I think the other one would have been a little bit hard.”

Valtteri Bottas, who will start the race from pole position, said he preferred the soft tyre compound.

“We tried the medium time this morning in practice one,” he said. “But when we had it, it was a pretty green track, so it was quite tricky to get a proper read of the tyre, how it’s behaving when the track gets better.

“So we tried it [in qualifying]. For me that run was quite poor. I couldn’t get enough temperature in the out-lap to the tyres. So I’m happy to be on the soft.”

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2020 Eifel Grand Prix

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7 comments on “Hamilton wanted to start the race on medium tyres”

  1. Better to minimize risks considering the low temps and how difficult getting tyres up to temperature is especially the harder the compound is, which might also have an impact on the start and braking into T1.

  2. It looked as if they tried to trick RBR in using the yellow tire.
    Its by far not the most effective tire in these circumstances.

    If there would be a SC the one on fresh mediums would have suffered.
    Chances for a SC are high in the first few laps.

    1. Anon A. Mouse
      10th October 2020, 18:35

      I would argue that Mercedes intended to start both cars on the Medium tires, however when Bottas didn’t get the lap in that they needed, they sent them both back out on Softs so keep the strategy consistent.

      1. Merc has the advantage they have two cars to fight Red Bull’s Verstappen. Different strategy’s would help there. Its almost impossible for VER to counter both strategys. Of course as always, depending how the race develops.

  3. Hmmm, it appears that Lewis usually gets his own way in the Mercedes team, sometimes even during the race. Not sure if I believe the team overruled him.

  4. Hamilton should have known his lap time and what he needed to get into Q3.
    He could have aborted his soft tyre run had he really wanted to.

    1. Yes, he could, but using a harder tyre at the start of the vey cold race is too risky. Mercedes drivers can finish in top 3 without much risk. Collisions or crashing out at the start because of cold tyres is the only threat Mercedes drivers must consider in Eifel GP.

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