Hamilton dismisses Horner’s claim Mercedes ‘let Ferrari off’ with Silverstone strategy

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes got their strategy calls right at Silverstone after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner questioned their tactics.

Horner claimed Ferrari were “let off the hook” by Mercedes when Hamilton’s team chose to put him on hard tyres instead of softs when they pitted him on the 33rd lap of 52.

However Hamilton is not convinced by Horner’s assessment of their strategy. “I don’t really care, I don’t really pay much attention to what is said by that guy,” he laughed when asked by RaceFans today.

“But from our knowledge, from what I was told, from our experience, the tyres were not going to go the distance. They were definitely quicker for the first part but there was huge degradation on the other cars that we had seen.

“Now, did we get it perfect? Who knows. But I think we made the right decision.”

Hamilton was able to put pressure on Ferrari in the race by running a long opening stint on the medium tyre compound. Only Lando Norris ran further than him on the medium tyres and the McLaren driver also switched to hard rubber at his pit stop.

“No one could do the stint length that I did on the medium,” Hamilton explained. “I don’t know if anyone else did that length and had that performance and pace at the end on that tyre.

“The question is could I have kept going and then shortened my soft tyre run? But in hindsight it’s always positive.”

Mercedes can draw a lot of encouragement from their British Grand Prix performance, said Hamilton, who set the fastest lap of the race on his way to third place.

“It was really positive for us as a team to start to see a little bit of consistency, particularly on my side, and to see us making progress,” he said.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2022 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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.

23 comments on “Hamilton dismisses Horner’s claim Mercedes ‘let Ferrari off’ with Silverstone strategy”

  1. Yes I think Lewis can be encouraged by the recent updates, he was consistently faster than the leaders when in clean air, as seen on the race chart.

    1. I think that is primarily due to the fact that both Verstappen’s RBR and Leclerc’s Ferrari weren’t 100%.
      I don’t think that Mercedes is there yet.

      1. I think it was more that the merc car is easy on tyres.

        1. I’m not so sure about that either. Ferrari did their stops to cover the undercut, not because they ran out of tyres. After the SC the hard didn’t get up to temperature as fast as the soft, resulting in Charles lacking pace the first few laps, but those tyres weren’t done, but simply not the best option.

    2. It’s true. But I think it lends credence to the notion that Mercedes could have had more. Honestly, the biggest issue I saw was Lewis’ poor defense when it counted. He got overtaken by Perez three times during the race. When he was handed a gift by Leclerc/Checo fighting it between them, he was not able to hold his position for more than 3 corners, going to deep while putting a tepid defense against Checo, and simultaneously outbreaking himself and making himself vulnerable to Leclerc.

      1. The RB is best car out there. It has the best combination of speed and downforce and so the currently 3rd ranked Mercedes will be a sitting duck on a track like Silverstone.

        However, the gap is closing – but it’s just more Hamilton bear baiting to think that he could have done better.

        1. I don’t know that he could have done better overall, but his defense most definitely could have been better. That’s the only criticism I’ve got. It shouldn’t have been so easy for Perez to get by him. Not with both on fresh tyres and with Leclerc holding Perez off for much longer on old hard tyres.

          1. Agreed. Not sure what happened but it seems he left the door wide ioen to ket checo pass. Was quite surprised by that.

          2. @ajpennypacker Hamilton’s defence is understandable if you look past the specific corner, by going deep he was positioning to be on the outside and potentially come back at Perez down the Wellington straight. If he had defended the corner Perez would have flown past anyway on the Wellington straight. The Red Bull was blisteringly quick you could see this in how quickly Perez gained on Hamilton.

            It’s all moot anyway as the clarification of the F1 overtaking guidelines on top of the FIA ISC means drivers will now just usher other cars off the track when overtaking on the inside, as demonstrated by Hamilton, Leclerc, Perez and Verstappen at Silverstone. We will see this repeat in Austria, Turn 3 is perfect for that type of move, as cars no longer need to leave a car’s width on the inside.

            It’s annoying as it will reduce the quality of the racing and overtakes to a common, base level of taking a line that effectively shoves the car you are overtaking off the track. All the drivers have agreed with this F1 rule although we can rely on Alonso to highlight the affect this rule change has on racing.

          3. The Red Bull was very fast on the soft soso on the medium and bad on the hards.

  2. Lewis “that guy” has a name…

    1. Yes, but the name I’d use would get me banned here.

      1. same here

    2. Chris Horner has a way of keeping permanent residence in Toto and Lewis’ minds. He makes little comments like this that inevitably get repeated by the media during interviews and you can always see how it irks them. It’s never just commenting on the issue, but taking digs. They are all probably still sore about getting defeated last year.

      1. It’s Christian by the way. And he is constantly taking digs.

        If he was “just commenting on the issue” at hand, then he’d occasionally have something good to say about Mercedes.

      2. They are all probably still sore about getting defeated last year.

        I don’t consider illegal actions by the then race director as giving a valid result. So, Lewis was not defeated.

        I believe the eventual winner of this year’s WDC will likely be the first time winner MV – assuming the Red Bull isn’t affected by the flexi-floor checks. I’d be very surprised if Adrian Newey is that bad at aero.

    3. It is “neguin” but without the white guilt.

  3. “That guy over there,” “Who’s that Tost?” we’re probably dealing with pure rudeness. It’s irrelevant, it’s matching the level of their supporters on social media, where most are convinced that if you’re not with them you’re against them and they’d do anything to hurt you. Fortunately they can do nothing but pour their frustrations onto the keyboard.

    A brief comment on Mercedes’ pace. It is purely due to the specifics of the track (mainly). Improvements bring them closer to Ferrari, but under normal conditions they have no chance of winning with their pace.

    1. @chase423 is this going to be followed by the usual xenophobic conspiracy theories about how the British are all evil monsters who somehow control the world press and are conspiring against the white knight of Verstappen?

  4. He said, she said, the press said. Its all getting very old between these characters

    1. Agreed. Amazing they couldn’t think of a better question to ask. Hack Fever is huge among F1 journos.

  5. Still interesting though…

Comments are closed.