Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Why Mercedes defended the “strategic howler” which cost Hamilton a victory chance

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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When Lewis Hamilton took the Hungarian Grand Prix restart on his own, and the rest of the field dived into the pits to switch to slick tyres before him, Mercedes quickly realised they were in trouble.

The missed opportunity to change from intermediate tyres to slicks at the restart turned what should have been a straightforward cruise to victory into a long afternoon’s slog to an eventual third place.

Hamilton admitted it was “definitely a mistake from us all”. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was grateful to see his rivals “made a howler strategically” which cost them a likely win.

But Mercedes stood by the decision immediately after the race. Team principal Toto Wolff said the call was “100% correct” at the time. So what exactly did they get wrong, and how?

At the original start, after the pre-race downpour, every driver left the grid on intermediates. One, Antonio Giovinazzi, returned to the pits to gamble on a switch to slick tyres before the start.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Hungaroring, 2021
Ocon was reluctant to pit from second for slicks
By the time the cars left the pits for the restart half an hour later, no further rain had fallen. The track dried quickly, as it had during the Formula 3 race earlier in the day, yet to Mercedes’ surprise every car in the queue stuck with intermediate tyres.

Immediately after Hamilton left the pits he began telling the team the track was dry. Had this been a formation lap his team would not have been able to reply to him, but it wasn’t, and messages passed back and forth. But the team didn’t call him in. According to Hamilton, they were expecting more rain.

“I was telling the team how the track was through the lap but they said the rain was coming when we got in the car and I thought they had other information,” he said.

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“It was dry in all the corners and so I kept telling them ‘dry, dry, dry’ and they said to stay out,” he added.

His radio messages with race engineer Peter Bonnington show Mercedes had no shortage of information about the condition of the track:

HamiltonHamilton waits for the restart in the pits.
It’s definitely going to be drying quick.
HamiltonYeah, copy Lewis.
BonningtonWe can see everyone on inters currently.
HamiltonThe field leaves the pits and rounds turn one.
It’s drying up real quick.
BonningtonOkay, copy.
HamiltonThere’s a dry line into two already.
HamiltonSteering still heavily left-hand down.
HamiltonDry through four.
BonningtonSo this will be a standing start.
HamiltonIt’s dry in five.
HamiltonThe Safety Car lights have gone out, I can control the pace now yeah?
BonningtonYeah copy. It is a standing start, standing start.
HamiltonSo I don’t have to worry about this left-hand down, right?
BonningtonNo we don’t think so. Checked it all out, it was good.
BonningtonSo it’s a standing start.
HamiltonHamilton rounds the final corner.
Loads of people coming into the pit lane already.
BonningtonYeah, Roger, we think this is the right one.
HamiltonHamilton begins the first lap after the restart.
It’s dry.
BonningtonYeah copy Lewis so box, box.
BonningtonMenu wet position one. Menu wet position one.
BonningtonHamilton changes to slicks and leaves the pits.
So just be careful at exit. So we’ve got a bit of a job on our hands now.
HamiltonAm I last?
BonningtonYeah affirm, Lewis. The whole field pitted.
BonningtonGo HPP3 position two, three position two.
HamiltonHow far ahead are they, man?
BonningtonSix seconds to Giovinazzi.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021
Late change to slicks left Hamilton at the back
Behind him, Esteban Ocon was in two minds about whether to pit. He was reluctant to throw away the second place he’d grabbed at the start.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Ocon, “because Lewis normally doesn’t take wrong decisions – never, I’ve never seen him taking a wrong decision.

“So to box when you are P2 on the road, it’s a bit heart-breaking at first, but glad that we did it because we [came out] a long way ahead.”

Ocon left the decision whether to pit or not in the hands of his race engineer Josh Peckett and the rest of the Alpine team:

PeckettOcon waits for the restart in the pits.
Okay a couple more little dry patches just starting to appear on the straight. I say dry, just slightly less wet. Still very much inter though, think.
PeckettCar behind, based on the blankets, looks like inters to me, which is Vettel.
OconCopy.
PeckettOkay mate two minutes to go so we’ll be firing up in about a minute’s time. We just need to go pit limiter on.
PeckettOkay let’s put that pit limiter on.
OconOcon rounds turn two.
As soon as we can pit it would be good to do so.
PeckettYou can come in at the end of this lap if you wanted. Let us know.
OconWell I guess I’m second so not really.
OconWhat do you think? Completely dry.
PeckettOkay, stand by. So standing start Esteban, I’ll get back to you shortly.
PeckettHamilton and Ocon approach turn 12.
Okay Esteban box, box, box, box.
OconCopy.
PeckettOkay Esteban let’s go tyre two, tyre two, and scenario one, scenario one. Box now.

Teams regularly monitor each others’ radio communications, so Mercedes could have known Ocon behind them was planning to pit. But even with that information available to them, plus Hamilton’s warnings that the track was dry, they kept him out.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021
Hamilton had to fight his way back to the front
The team’s trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained their thinking, which was influenced partly by the championship situation. Hamilton was on course for a win while his closest title rival, Max Verstappen, was out of the points in a badly damaged car.

This was why they played it safe and sent Hamilton out of the pits on intermediates. “The mindset was that, given the situation in the race there and with our competitors, it was one of not making a mistake by slipping off or getting tangled in an accident,” said Shovlin. “So we decided to be cautious and go on the inter.”

Following Giovinazzi’s gamble on slicks earlier, Mercedes were surprised to discover no one else did the same as the cars left the pits. “It was very surprising to see the entire field on the inter,” Shovlin admitted. “And then it was more surprising to see the entire field peel off behind us.”

The location of Mercedes’ pit box in the pits discouraged them from bringing Hamilton back in immediately. The world champions had the first stall after the pit entry, meaning that if Hamilton led multiple cars in, he would likely have had to wait until they all passed before heading out, costing him a significant amount of time.

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“When you’re first garage, you’ve got the disadvantage that as you come in and do your stop, you’ve then got a train of cars following you in who all have pit boxes further down the pit lane,” Shovlin explained. “And then you’ve got to try and find some kind of a gap that you can launch into. And you saw there were a few incidents where people [were] crashing in the pit lane.”

Start crash, Hungaroring, 2021
Gallery: 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix in pictures
Mercedes were convinced Hamilton would sacrifice the lead and be at risk of a race-compromising incident if they brought him in at that point.

“Looking at it and given that there’s no way that Lewis could ever build five seconds’ gap on a formation lap because everyone’s trying to bunch up and get in, we think we would have been best case P6 on the road, worst case P10, but it would have still been messy and risky,” said Shovlin.

However he still believes the team got it wrong on Sunday: Not with the decision to leave Hamilton out at the restart, but in sending him off on intermediates to begin with.

“When we actually left the pit lane, at that point we were talking about do we go on slicks because we could see it was drying out,” he said. “And that’s really the decision that we got wrong.”

That error cost Hamilton a clear chance to win and pull further ahead of Verstappen in the championship.

“The real mistake we made was we should have rolled out of the pit lane on ‘dries’, as should everyone, because then you don’t need to make the stop,” said Shovlin. “So it was unfortunate and we had an easy opportunity to win the race that we failed to take.

“We were all in agreement that we got it wrong together. So no one’s being blamed for it. But it’s one of those lessons that you learn from. In this industry you try and not make the same mistake twice.”

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

2021 F1 season

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82 comments on “Why Mercedes defended the “strategic howler” which cost Hamilton a victory chance”

  1. “The real mistake we made was we should have rolled out of the pit lane on ‘dries’, as should everyone, because then you don’t need to make the stop,”

    I thought race director mandated tyres for the restart. And hence everyone was on inters.

    1. It’s weird he didn’t mention that then isn’t it. But also that 100% of cars were on inters. Anyway you can understand how once they were on inters, the pitlane was a risky place to be with everyone pitting at once. And how they could expect some teams to only pit one car instead of queueing them.

    2. I was wondering the same thing, that everyone was on inters leaving the pits after the red flag. Is that mandated by the race director? Is this tied to the decision to do a standing start?

    3. I think the RD only mandates it when it’s too wet for inters, rather than when it’s too dry.

      in sunday’s conditions it was free choice at the restart

  2. The real mistake we made was we should have rolled out of the pit lane on ‘dries’

    Exactly. One of the best drivers on a damp track ever, in the lead, it should have been an easy call.

    1. I thought it was wrong to get to the grid on Inters i was expecting Lewis Pit and then win with all those slow cars.

    2. @david-br Yeah let’s just forget Imola never happened. Bury the facts. That’s the way you do it. No problem.

      Maybe some will have forgotten. Or maybe just push on and on with a message and it will stick.

      Propaganda text book.

      1. Imola? Let’s forget the list of wet races Ham has won since 2007 then or Turkey 20 and Styria 20. Imola was hardly a catastrophic error.

        Reply moderated
      2. who would you say is better in the wet then @balue ?

        1. No answer then @balue ? That’s fine, I guess it’s easy to spout none senses but when someone challenges the fact you’re wrong you’re no where to be seen. Funny that.

          1. Challenge? You didn’t even get the point before you got your flag and started waving which I shouldn’t even bother with. But since I’m here, the topic is why didn’t Hamilton roll out of the garage on slicks when it was such an easy call, and the reason is obviously that it’s risky because he is prone to making massive race-ending mistakes as proven just a few races ago. In fact, he and his team were the only ones who didn’t trust his ability to put on slicks at that time, and that speaks volumes in itself.

      3. Hmmm

        While I appreciate maths and statistics may not be your strong point, may I suggest a visit to f1stats or similar sites? The bottom line is anything can happen in a wet race and usually does.

        Over the last 13 years the one guaranteed outcome would appear to be LH runs rings around everyone in wet races and always has. In fact, more than anyone prior.

        Most suggest supreme talent. I am almost certain it’s starting a career on UK karting tracks! In fact, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you will treat wet races and dry races as an every day thing growing up on our ridiculously poor racing surfaces coupled with mandated plastic tyres and scaffold stiff chassis!

        As soon as you see an over square continental chassis and can’t pick up the tyres because they are stuck to the floor in a European round, you realise your not in Kansas any more. Really fast!

      4. Lewis is excellent in the wet 99% of the time..this is well known.so using 1 rare example to say otherwise is ridiculous.

  3. What is it with Mercedes and Lewis that it makes it so hard for them to acknowledge that they make mistakes.

    To pit first and wait for everyone to pass was still faster then this mess. Now everyone had fresh tires before the lights went green. And basically got a free stop.

    These excuses over and over and over again. No one is believing them anymore. At least I don’t.

    1. We were all in agreement that we got it wrong together.

      is this the bit you mean @hannesch? ;)

      1. Shovlin – However he still believes the team got it wrong on Sunday: Not with the decision to leave Hamilton out at the restart, but in sending him off on intermediates to begin with.

        Really admitting their mistakes here. Huhuh. They are beating around the bushes, again. This is not admitting, this is focussing on something else so you don’t have to admit your mistake.

        Please, being a fan shouldn’t make you blind. Always remember; who says what to whom, when and in which context. And in formula 1 there is one extra dimension. Is there a camera or writing press present.

        For example; Toto’s apologies to Horner were not sincere with a camera present. You want to apologise, do it when the world is not watching. He only did it to look good on camera. The same goes for things Horner or Marko says. They all have an agenda.

        1. Well @hannesch you’re claiming they can’t acknowledge their mistakes at the bottom of an article about them doing that exact thing. They had reasons, that they explain, but you’re too busy trying to sit in judgement aren’t you? Trying to be morally superior but actually being a bit unethical yourself. Talking about agendas

          1. Really? Read the article over and over till you get the point.

            There was not much real-time info over track conditions until they rolled to the start.

            Not gambling on the way out of the pits – I agree – good reasons. In drying track conditions the leader never pits first. There is a reason for that.

            Then they got the info and didn’t do anything with is. They were the only ones not to. Mistake.

            So now they only admit the first ‘mistake’ what really wasn’t a mistake. That would be just gambling. And don’t admit the second one.

            So what did they admit exactly?

            See my point?

          2. you’re disagreeing with their decision, with hindsight @hannesch. So do they. Toto has said this exact thing, and now Shov says they ‘got it wrong’ as well. So your claiming they don’t acknowledge they make mistakes is just made up isn’t it. It doesn’t even matter which mistake. It could be you really don’t understand the difference between a denial and a rationale, but you could make the effort, even if it’d need rather a big effort apparently

          3. @zann Nope, it’s like having an accident on an intersection and saying: my mistake I drove too fast, while in fact you jumped a red light. Which you don’t want to admit and therefor you want everyone to believe you only drove slightly to fast.

            Shift the focus from the real mistake to something else.

            Own up to your mistakes, it will empower you.

          4. no @hannesch it’s like what it was: having some unknowns, having to make a prediction, and then finding out that you didn’t get the prediction right because the unknowns went another way. So, you had a reasonable basis for doing what you did: a rationale. Then, it turns out it was a mistake. So you admit the mistake, but explain it was not a mistake in the process that you used. See? It is complicated i know, but it doesn’t help you to understand just trying to say it’s like something completely different. So now at the end of the day we have this:
            hannesch/Balue/Nandy/Mayrton/Danny: “Mercedes don’t acknowledge mistakes they make”
            Shov: “we got it wrong”
            lol

          5. @zann it’s Formula 1. It’s never just what it is. It’s politics.

            But I’ll rest my case here. There is no point in trying to convince you. Put away your Mercedes coloured glasses.

          6. @zann The article you are commenting is literally titled “Why Mercedes defended the “strategic howler” which cost Hamilton a victory chance” and quotes team principal Toto Wolff who “said the call was “100% correct” at the time”

            So now at the end of the day we have this:
            – The obvious facts as it pertains to Mercedes not admitting their mistake not stopping for slicks
            – Zann desperately trying to get one over on the blasphemers grabbing some random quote from the trackside engineering director about how they should have done something completely different instead, and thinking we wouldn’t notice, lol.

            It never seizes to amaze me the lengths which some are willing to go just to get at other commenters.

    2. It’s only obviously fast to have pitted, because we now know everyone did it.

      Very easy to second guess – I thought the same as you, but have changed my mind

      Mercedes would be thinking that few if any would pit – because if it was that obvious, they’d had put on slicks at the start of the race. Hence, they’d take a chance few would pit, which actually would be no worse than having to wait for, say, 15 cars to pass whilst they refueled.

      Toto was correct not to overreact to this. His calmness and protection of the team is something that Horner could always learn from, never does and that’s why Mercedes will probably get the constructors.

      And they’ve admitted to errors lots of times – even apologising to the drivers on the radio in the past. Hamilton was full of apologies when crashing earlier in the season. Clearly you’ve gone mute for those incidents!! They are a very humble team, who don’t do rash soundbites like Horner has always done.

    3. You didn’t really read the article, did you?

      (You clearly also don’t follow the team closely either)

    4. @hannesch It’s classic Hamilton fan tactic by Wolff and the team. Just deny the truth and push on with the message.

    5. That sums up the season for me. Mercedes has some serious issues with owning up to anything. I think the past 8 years have blurred reality a bit for them.

    6. THE very definition of entitlement.

      They’ve had it oh so easy for the last seven years that they’ve been utterly consumed by their own hype.

    7. Thank you @hannesch for voicing this opinion. Thank you so much. I’m relieved I’m not the only one thinking this way.

      To me, Mercedes’ debriefs tend to come up with reasons why they’ve made a call with the benefit of hindsight, rather than openly saying how the decision process went in the first place. With this, and a tone that sounds empathetic, they can get away with pretty much any mistake they make.

      No wonder Shov, Volwes & co have been there forever. Internal politics…

      However, people are less stupid than they might think, and as Nandy said, they seem to have been consumed by their own hype.

      Last but not least, as an engineer you’d think you would want to lay down the facts, figure out what was the actual best case scenario, and learn from it for the next event. Nope. Blame the tools, the circumstances, the bad luck…anyone but the people who actually make the decision. Sadly, I understand that several other strategists down the pit-lane have a similar approach. Not willing to be name-shaming, that’s not the point. But let’s say there’s a strong correlation between the degree of public appearance from a person, and their actual abilities as strategists.

      When was the last time you read a public post from Will Courtenay (Red Bull chief strategist)?

      Reply moderated
  4. Horner called this a howler and it was. But what about Red Bull, or any other team for that matter?

    Shovlin is right: literally no one showed any willingness to take a relatively slight risk with the tyres on a fast-drying track.

    If, say, Verstappen had changed his inters to slicks before the formation lap, he would have taken the lead a lap later. And no matter how compromised his car was, he could have probably kept anyone behind him on this particular track, with the possible exception of Hamilton (who, on the other hand, would not have caught up with him in time).

    That would have been a strategic masterstroke, damage limitation deluxe, and now it is only a measly P10 (or P9).

    So this was a huge missed opportunity for everyone, not only a mistake on Mercedes’ part.

    1. Especially with the car Verstappen was driving they could have taken a risk. However, since it was already difficult to drive they probably didn’t dare to put slicks on too quick. But that could have been interesting on this track.

    2. +1 but I suppose they didn’t really know how the car was going to perform. You’d certainly think someone like Schumacher would have given it a go, starting right near the back.

  5. I was shaking my head, speechless at the telly for the first 10 minutes – but in retrospect, I think it was one of those things

    Imagine a pit lane incident, with all the Horner heat going on, the Stewards would have jumped on Mercedes

    No. The big error was Lewis giving his old foe, Fernando – too much respect and early overtake and it’s an easy win.

    Biggest laugh ever, was Hamilton sat on the grid on his tod!!

    1. I would be scared to be around other cars as well when I was Mercedes.

  6. Once again the Mercedes track strategy was too conservative and could not adapt to quickly evolving situations on the ground. If they thought they should have been on slicks at the restart, why would they continue to double down on being on inters after Lewis was telling them it was going to be dry? I don’t buy the argument that they thought everyone else would stay on inters so they should do that too. If it’s the wrong tyre for the conditions, get off it. They should have been trying to get the best conditions for their car, not looking in the mirror at what the rest of the pack was doing. Mercedes can’t afford to be as conservative as they have been in the past. They need to make sure their cars are going around the track as fast as possible.

    1. They are used to one strategy the last 8 years, so understandably they have difficulties now there is a hint of actual competition for them

  7. I thought teams weren’t allowed to instruct their drivers during the formation lap?

    1. @davidjwest it is written in the article:

      Immediately after Hamilton left the pits he began telling the team the track was dry. Had this been a formation lap his team would not have been able to reply to him, but it wasn’t, and messages passed back and forth. But the team didn’t call him in. According to Hamilton, they were expecting more rain.

      1. Yeah but surely it was a “formation” lap? They weren’t racing, or is it technically a lap of the race? They were forming up the grid.

        1. Technically, it’s a lap of the race behind the safety car. It counted the remaining laps down by one.

          I thought it counted as a formation lap, at least for communication purposes, too. Obviously not.

  8. Some questions and remarks:
    – how is pit position decided? Why are Mercedes first? I guess there are also advantages to being first? And why do we only hear of Mercedes being first, but never hear who is second or third? Not that much difference I would think.
    – Is overtaking allowed in the pit on that first lap before the restart? I thought I read Russel had to give up position because he passed some drivers in the pit at that moment? Wouldn’t everybody have to wait for Hamilton before exiting the pit?

    1. It follows the previous year’s constructor’s championship order.

      1. It follows the previous year’s constructor’s championship order.

        Unfortunately, except for when it doesn’t. Like at Silverstone, the event organizers don’t want Mercedes and Red Bull on the downslope at the end of the pit lane where fans can’t see into their garages so they move them around. Like most things FIA, they have a rule on how to do things and then choose when and where to enforce it.

        British Grand Prix Event Notes with pit locations.
        https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2021%20British%20Grand%20Prix%20-%20Race%20Directors'%20Event%20Notes%20.pdf

        Hungarian Grand Prix Event Notes with pit locations.
        https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2021%20Hungarian%20Grand%20Prix%20-%20Race%20Directors'%20Event%20Notes%20.pdf

    2. Overtaking in the pit is allowed, e.g. if some teams had faster stops than others. My understanding is that they have to leave the pits in the order they’ve queued at pit exit. The issue for Russell was that because Williams were the last pit box, there were already cars queued alongside him as he left the box. The fact that he drove alongside them to reach the line ahead of some cars who were already queued was the issue.

      Reply moderated
    3. The advantage to be first in the pit lane is that you can come straight in to the box without having to round anybody

  9. In a strange way Iam sort of happy that it happened because it evens out the crash, if Lewis had just had an easy win it would be just that, an easy win, but with Lewis coming through the field to finish second it sort of makes it worthy.
    The same with Baku, not getting any points makes it possible to say at the end of the season, if he wins the WDC that it wasn’t all ‘ what about Max at Baku, what about Max at Hungary’.
    The season is shaping up to be a classic, up there with 76 perhaps?

    1. because it evens out the crash

      Wait Untill Lewis crashes and your unbiased opinion then :)

      1. Iam sure I’ll come here and discuss it like any other incident, probably without all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that we’ve seen recently ;-)

  10. Ludicrous question. If the cars can’t be released from pit lane until Hamilton passed, what if he just sat there for 1 hour and 58 minutes, then ran a single lap?

    I’m guessing 1) the would have disqualified him and 2) if he did succeed the race would have concluded with no points awarded as the required distance was not covered

    Which doesn’t make sense for him. But would have made sense for Verstappen, since Verstappen would have reduced the available points to Hamilton by effectively cancelling the race.

    Or consider if it had happened with 10 laps to go, with a lone car happy with it’s position? Could the lone car on the grid, simply not start and end the race?

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      2nd August 2021, 19:49

      What are you smoking?

  11. Toto running for pope.
    Never make mistakes..

  12. Everybody talking about Mercedes, I want to talk about Lewis: 7 times champions with that experience, a dry track and knowing that inters could not last more than 2 laps, he should’ve told “box now” and cover the team’s obvious blunder.

    1. Agreed, but probably one more of his many mistakes this year.

    2. Because he was told more rain was coming…did you not read the article fully.

  13. For Mercedes it was the right call because for years they could do whatever they wanted with the pace they had in hand, so just play the percentages and the speed advantage will take of the rest whatever happens, especially in a race with all the fast guys out or disabled. It almost worked again.

  14. It’s actually a penalty under the regulations to not take the grid unless you are required to pit. One can argue the requirement to pit for wet tyres on safety grounds, but pitting for slicks is just a performance improver and is not allowed under the regulations, the entire field except for 44 should have had a penalty.

    1. This is something I had wondered about though must be one of the vagaries in the rulebook concerning a restart but seemed odd all the same. Understandable under a safety car but this was in all but name a formation lap.

      Reply moderated
    2. What a load of nonsense. If it were against the regulations, everyone would’ve been penalised. But they weren’t because it isn’t

      1. Regulation 43.1 regarding standing start restarts: “Once the safety car has entered the pit lane all cars, with the exception of those required to start from the pit lane, must return to the grid, take up their grid positions and follow the
        procedures set out in Article 36”

        1. For clarity, those required to start from the pitlane are cars that have either incurred a penalty, or stop on safety grounds.

  15. I thought race director mandated tyres for the restart. And hence everyone was on inters.

    Intermediates are always a team decision. Only the wets can be forced.

    The full wet-weather tires are mandatory if the start or restart is declared a wet start. The cars then must remain on the wet tires until the safety car leaves the track. But by declaring the restart a standing start it was by definition not a wet start. The teams were free to choose whatever tires they wished during the red flag stoppage.

  16. I think Lando summed it up perfectly by stating Mercedes needs to build up some experience actually competing and fighting other cars, instead of their cruising off in the distance mode.

    1. bottas and rain don’t go together very well. remember turkey last year.

    2. Actually he stated Bottas.

      You are all are struggling with the fact your boy is now behind are you not?

      Have a break over Summer!

      1. Merely stating what (and agreeing with) Lando said.

  17. The ONLY thing that stopped that Merc rocketship from winning was a Fernando Alonso.

    If not for his masterclass making Lewis look very, very ordinary, that Merc would have sailed by and easily won.

    1. making Lewis look very, very ordinary

      Where others saw a thrilling battle, you saw one of the protagonists looking very, very ordinary. I just hope Lewis takes the title this year so we see the kind of tears you, Balue, Mayrton etc will shed.

      1. This wasn’t a battle but a schooling by Fernando pure and simple. A battle would have given a fair chance for Alonso to come out on top, but he had no chance against that Merc rocket.

        It was a healthy reminder, for some, that Lewis has had it far too easy for the last 7/8 years.

        1. Maybe you missed the part about this being the Hungarian track, which is notoriously difficult to pass, even Mick was able to hold Max Lewis and Gasly for a bunch of laps. on any other track Alonso would have been overtaken in two or three laps.

      2. His car was genuinely 2-4 seconds a lap quicker than EVERYBODY ELSE. The moment he stopped being schooled by Alonso he nearly finished 2nd despite being SEVEN SECONDS behind with 3 laps to go.

        The fact is Lewis only has 7 titles because of the pace of the car and the weakness of his teammates(no rosberg was not any good but he did what he needed to to win). But that is the way it goes in F1, it ALWAYS has, but that is not Hamilton’s fault, nor Mercedes, that’s everyone else’s for not making a competitive car

        1. Saying Alonso schooled Lewis on a track which is top 2 or 3 most difficult to overtake on,is a massive over exaggeration…the real schooling happened when a rookie Lewis finished above Alonso in the championship on 2007…Alonso even tried to blackmail McLaren to sabotage Lewis,because he couldn’t take the pressure.

      3. The funnier bit is the crying that comes from Hamilton fans just because people don’t like him. they are ENTITLED to, but no, the moment someone doesn’t like him it’s cry cry cry

        1. Not me, I only come here to laugh at the way certain posters capitalising random words for no reason. It’s up there with the guys who end every other sentence with !!!!!! You don’t do that do you?

      4. @Emmy

        Where others saw a thrilling battle, you saw one of the protagonists looking very, very ordinary. I just hope Lewis takes the title this year so we see the kind of tears you, Balue, Mayrton etc will shed.

        All about hate for others and wanting them to suffer is classic Hamilton fan. But no surprise as that’s their mans basic outlook too, so they instinctively found eachother: https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hamilton-wants-to-hurt-rivals-at-their-best-1016483/1397318/?s=1

    2. We saw a great battle.

      Amazing how the anti crowd fail to see what Lewis stood to lose in comparison to Fernando should the slightest of errors occurred?

      Even more amazing that they fail to see ten laps of great stuff when a half lap and fundamental screw up seems to be about as far as their chosen one can manage regardless of what he stood to lose.

  18. Atleast Mercedes saved some grace on the starting grid… Imagine a start with 0 cars on the field?

  19. haha altho merc cars are unbeatable they always manage to find unthinkable ways to lose the race from an easy win. 2017 baku, 2020 italy, now, and so many more.

  20. “We didn’t get it wrong, the weather was incorrect.”

  21. This site would be so much better to read if there was an option to mute or block certain accounts so you don’t see their comments. There have been some really interesting and different points of view from many posters but they get lost amongst a sea of childish bickering and biased comments that literally flood every single article.

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