(L to R): Sergio Perez, Red Bull; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes; Circuit Zandvoort, 2022

Hamilton and Wolff back Mercedes strategists “100%” after Dutch GP

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he has total faith in his strategy team after the call which saw him fall from first place to fourth in the final laps of the Dutch Grand Prix.

A frustrated Hamilton said on his radio the team had “screwed” his race as he dropped out of the podium positions following a late Safety Car restart. He apologised to the team for his comments afterwards.

Hamilton said he believes “100%” Mercedes have “the right team” in place on the pit wall. “We’ve got a group of young, super-determined individuals. Some have been here as long as me, and much longer in the team, who continue to be motivated every year. I 1,000% believe we’ve got the right team in place.”

The team’s race hung on a decision during the Safety Car period whether to pit for soft tyres. Race leader Max Verstappen took the opportunity, dropping behind Hamilton, while George Russell came in on the following lap and did the same. Hamilton stayed out on the medium compound, but was quickly passed by the pair as well as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

The decision whether to give up the lead of the race and pit “wasn’t an easy call”, said Hamilton. “Of course, we could always look back, all of us can in certain scenarios and say we could or would have made a different choice. But that’s not life.

“We just learn from it and move on. I was hoping to get a podium. I was hopeful to get a first or second at least, but let’s move on.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team has “absolutely the best guys” in place on the pit wall and backed their gamble on splitting the strategies between Hamilton and Russell in an attempt to win the race.

“You’re always exposed when you take decisions and they backfire because you never have a 100% situation in the race. Things can go wrong and even you have a late Safety Car, accident or whatever.

“So I couldn’t wish for a better crew that takes the decisions in terms of strategy. And they did exactly what we discussed this morning with taking risks to win the race.”

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2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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77 comments on “Hamilton and Wolff back Mercedes strategists “100%” after Dutch GP”

  1. The strategy made sense even though we knew it was going to be pointless.
    Mercedes thought Russell might be able to steal a win if Hamilton and Verstappen fought for the lead but it didn’t happen. For some reason, Russell had been marginally slower that weekend and Verstappen was just too fast.
    If they knew they were not going to win, they should have just changed the tyres of both drivers and then were assured finishing 2nd and 3rd.

    1. The strategy made sense

      I don’t agree it made sense.

      They had two options when Verstappen (as expected) entered the pit during the SC.
      1) follow Verstappen, keep your position (2 & 3), and try to fight Verstappen (doubtful) but be strong enough to keep the Ferraris on whatever tyre behind. Thus guaranteed 2 & 3 and maybe better (as you argued as well).
      2) stay on the already somewhat worn medium tyres, get a sniff of a race lead during the caution period, and be a certain sitting duck for any Red Bull and/or Ferrari which changes to Softs during the SC. Thus expect to end up outside the podium with both cars.

      Mercedes was lucky that Russell was awake enough to demand the Soft tyres and also fortunate that Sainz and Perez went for Mediums (I assume they didn’t have any softs left).

      1. Perez didn’t want the softs as they didn’t work for him so that why they selected mediums and Sainz did he pit? but he hadn’t any softs left he could use.

      2. 2) stay on the already somewhat worn medium tyres, get a sniff of a race lead during the caution period, and be a certain sitting duck for any Red Bull and/or Ferrari which changes to Softs during the SC. Thus expect to end up outside the podium with both cars.

        It was hardly that clear-cut. It’s always easy to call strategy in hindsight but their mediums were only about 5 laps old so it was far from a foregone conclusion that they would be “sitting ducks” if they stayed out. In fact as Lewis only fell to 4th the chances are they would have been 3rd & 4th (with HAM ahead of RUS, behind VER and LEC) had they kept both cars on mediums, so not both off the podium as you claim.

        Pitting both for softs basically guarantees 2nd & 3rd but next to no chance of winning, staying out gives you a chance of a race win if you can defend against new softs with nearly-new mediums. Until you try it you don’t know how hard it will prove to be, and at least you’re forcing your opponent to pass you on track. You might not rate your chance of holding on at more than 20% but that’s higher than your chance of passing Max with no tyre advantage. So if your pre-race plan is to take risks to try and win then of course you stay out.

        George’s decision to take softs was easier because he wasn’t leading, he was just the buffer between Lewis and Max. So he had no chance of a win either way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his comment about losing the tyres was a white lie to get the pitstop he wanted.

        1. I still do think HAM could have won the race with the chosen strategy.
          It was in my opinion totally stupid from HAM to restart the race so quickly. He would have a much higher chance of getting through turn 1 as 1st, if he started the race at the beginning of the pitlane. Cover the inside, force VER on the outside and push him wide. The Red Bull isn’t that quick, if you don’t reach top speed….
          Now some theory: If that would have happened on VER got into the gravel, most likely RUS, LEC, SAI, PER could have passed him.
          Mercedes 1-2 may be at that stage possible with a swap between HAM and RUS or they could try to get RUS on every lap just about in the DRS, so that a LEC would have it even harder to pass, as the 2nd Mercedes is also driving at 320kph+ and HAM didn’t need to defend the position.
          Nevertheless, even if HAM started the race later, I still do think VER was just a smidge too fast on the soft compound of tires.

          1. The radio call from G Russel was very specific, “I need softs because these tires are loosing too much heat. They won’t work”…. or at least close to it.
            As it played out, that is exactly what happened to Hamilton.
            What makes no sense is that Mercedes has played right into this scenario several times.
            One can reasonable predict a high probability of a car stopping on track, sometime in the last 15 laps. That usually means SC and if you stay out with cold hard (or not soft) tyres, yer a sitting duck on the restart and for the first two laps.
            Would seem that Red Bull and George have this figured out. It does make for exciting races and follow-up chatter.

  2. I agree 100% jff, Merc wall seems to have a bit of a hard time thinking outside the box. The crew has worked together for a long time, and seem comfortable with a fixed strategy, while Red Bull in particular seem to look specifically for opportunities. Despite the issues with safety cars both Mercs seemed able to put pressure on out front, but what happened with Lewis was simply the wrong strategy for getting the best results for the team. Trying to convince people otherwise seems to make it even worse as now the drivers have to question whom should be giving instructions.

  3. Win as a team, lose as a team, right?
    Just don’t publicly blame the team in a fit of rage.
    Funny how drivers make over the top comments in the heat of the moment, then back down later.
    Funny how people are still enraged by Alonso’s comments in Spa, but this tantrum will be easily forgotten

    1. @eurobrun after Lewis drove into Carlos at the start, Alonso’s comments seem most accurate but as you say, they’ll last in the ether longer than Lewis blasting his own team.

      I kinda feel like Lewis had lost some of his edge. Previous seasons he would have been on the radio like George was, acting proactively rather than reactively.

      1. @antznz So did Alonso drive into Lewis in Spa then? It looked more like Sainz wasn’t expecting Hamilton to be that far alongside and was about to cut across the front of the Mercedes. Luckily they both seemed to react in time to avoid race ending situation.

        1. @rob8k look at the white line on the inside. Hamilton had understeer and drifted outwards into Carlos.

          1. @antznz clutching at straws there mate. He was significantly on the inside and Sainz clearly changed his angle halfway through the corner. Regardless it was a non incident but feel free to continue to make it look like one driver drove into another.

          2. @rob8k Hamilton wasn’t alongside Carlos going into the corner therefore the rules state that Carlos had the right to take the racing line. There’s no way you slice the incident that says Carlos is to blame in any way. That was all on Lewis.

          3. In the moment they touched HAM was as along as ALO was in Spa. Watch the onboards on youtube, instead of constructing arguments fitting you bias.

          4. @romtrain The point I was trying to make. Though it shows that they would rather have a cheap dig than have impartial argument. Lewis was to blame in Spa but feel in Zandvoort the overtake was on and it was good reaction and racing from the pair of them.

  4. Hamilton’s strategists did mess up. The moment the SC was deployed he should have been pitted for new softs. Bottas’s car was stationary for some time so they knew a SC was imminently likely.

  5. Lewis was raging in the final laps on the mediums and we all heard George clearly ask for softs when coming down the pitlane.

    Curious to say this was a strategy call from the team. Clearly George had worked this out in time for the pit crew to enact what he wanted for the final laps. The ‘strategists’ had little to with it, more BS from Mercedes management and another illustration of why George has been ahead in their team battle for most of the year.

    1. @frasier apparently, they checked with Ferrari who suggested that Mercedes split strategies and you saw the outcome. They should have done the exact opposite.

  6. So they did split the strategies instead of trying to find a way to keep Lewis in the lead. It also bumped Lewis off the podium and put him 30 points behind Russell in the championship.

    I guess if Lewis hadn’t said what he said, Toto would have on his behalf.

  7. @freelittlebirds my point is that George has a good racing brain, and we all heard it was him who called for softs, not the team, who are now trying to rewrite history for reasons that we can only speculate upon.

    1. It’s easy to have a good racing brain when your behind and have nothing to lose.

      The same mentality gave Jensen options that sometimes worked out in his favour, like Australia 2010, IIRC.

  8. how come no one is talking about how bottas didn’t normally touch any switches on the home straight. the lap his car died his was told “oil button” or at least that what it sounded like.
    then the next time he was on the home straight it hit a switch and it was nearly instantaneous his engine “died”

    i mean, the SC was a chance for HAM to get back into the race, (a chance, not a given). so as long as people are spouting off about theories, lets include this

    1. oil button (if you heard that) could be the oil reserve of the engine OR hydrolic) which replense the current but if there is a leak the engine will shutdown to protect it self.

    2. David, the voice traffic you hear is always delayed. It is easy to get the wrong impression by thinking it is in synch with the TV pictures.

    3. You guys both make great points that make what I am saying seem like I am making something out of nothing……perhaps that’s the deal with Tsunoda’s retirement also?

  9. It’s 2022. Mercedes and Ferrari are racing each other. McLaren is racing Alpine. Only need to focus on those competitors. Other stuff may happen only if there are major failures with other cars.

  10. Tale of two drivers: one makes a bold and correct call to go on softs. The other throws a tantrum botches a restart by not selecting the right engine mapping and then nearly shunts his teammate on the main straight. GR has consistently shown far more poise this season. No reason to expect that won’t continue.

    1. Dear anti-fan: HAM didnt nearly shunt his teammate, but his teammate steered left for a fraction of a second right before the overtake. Just review it on youtube and switch to slower playback speed, if your conception isnt fast enough. It looked like it was HAMs doing in live tv coverage, especially due to some sparks from a bouncing of HAMs car at the same moment, but in fact it was RUS who nearly shunted HAM.

  11. Lewis, think about Carlos and Charles and be grateful for your strategy team :P

  12. In this reversed Abu scenario, I think RedBull (bringing in the race leader and sacrificing track position) showed Mercedes exactly what is possible strategy wise under those circumstances. Notwithstanding Masi’s role, it does show it was Mercedes themselves that eventually gave it away back then.

    1. The problem at Abu Dhabi was that the safety car was deployed after Hamilton had passed the pit entrance and he caught it almost straight away, so that by the time he came around again he would have lost track position to Verstappen. Apart from pitting in anticipation of the SC being deployed (which can sometimes take a while, as we saw with Bottas on Sunday) there wasn’t a lot Mercedes could do.

      1. This is exactly what Mayrton is saying. In Abu Dhabi, Merc simply didn’t want to lose track position by bringing Lewis in for softs so kept him out on mediums. Take Masi out of the equation, as no-one knew that was gonna happen, with 6 or 7 laps to go, the SC “generally” does not last that long, so the race, at that point, was pretty certain to restart. Merc made the wrong call. The only way staying on Mediums would have worked was is if the SC never ended.

        At Zolder, it was RBR now leading and RBR were prepared to (and did) lose track position to put Max on the better soft tyre. Not only track position, but Max was also 11 secs in front of Lewis when the safety car came out, yet they took the gamble losing that 11 sec lead and track position too.

        Thankfully, George had his own brain in gear knowing they would BOTH be sitting ducks on the mediums after the restart. George would have no chance against an RBR with DRS!! Once George got past Lewis, Leclerc then got past Lewis too within 2 laps, so how on earth did Lewis expect George to protect his rear by keeping Max behind him for 12 laps?

        Merc wanted the win at all costs, which is what lost them a double podium. If it wasn’t for George, they would have gone home without a trophy.

        1. ….and I just realised, at the point RBR pitted Max, not only did they lose the 11 sec lead and P1, they lost P2 too. It was the next lap George pitted giving Max P2 back. So RBR were in fact prepared to lose 2 places by pitting Max.

        2. I meant that at Abu Dhabi Hamilton would have lost position to Verstappen even *after* Max had pitted for softs. This is because Max was able to cruise back up to the end of the queue while Hamilton was following the safety car around for an entire lap. So if Hamilton had pitted for softs at AD he would have ended up behind Verstappen on the same tyres. The option to sacrifice track position for better tyres wasn’t open to Mercedes at Abu Dhabi.

    2. How stupid to always keep spinning a made-up VER fan narrative. The race had to end behind SC, so to sacrifice track position for a tyre advantage would have been the most stupid decision for HAM. It cant be helped when the RD chooses to break the rules, to manipulate the results. Be happy your beloved paperchamp got his paper-title, but stop making up false arguments.

      1. @romtrain – problem was and everyone knew this that after SPA no race would end BEHIND a safety car and Massi could use his powers to make sure about that. Strange that everyone forgot thatseems none listen to those in charge … even i heard it otherwise i wouldn’t knew it.
        I already said to the group where i was watching to watch the race will be 1 lap while they said it would finish under a safety car. And behold they were looking to me how did you know that and i said i was paying atention where certain people are talking.

        Still if Lewis had pitted for Soft he would still beat Max as his car was much more powerfull as you saw even on aged mediums he almost past max on the straight but couldn’t hold the corner because of his tyres.

        1. There cannot be an agreement, that no race must end behind SC, as thats not compatible to the rules. Also the RD didnt have the power to overrule the rules, he just broke them. Facts stay, no matter how much orange-minded people want to twist them.

          1. I think the rules are that if a race was going to end under SC, then the SC will peel off into the pits and the leading car effectively becomes the safety car for the remainder of the final lap, so that the winning car can be seen to take the chequered flag and the media gets the shots needed for the headlines, rather than the SC taking the chequered flag. i.e. the races should not end under SC, but they can end under SC rules.

      2. I also believed Mercedes did the right thing in AD as I thought it would be impossible to clear the Latifi mess before the end of the race.

        You are totally wrong though, and keep spinning the incorrect fan narrative, that the “race had to end behind SC”. 1) All teams agreed that the race/season if possible should end under green; 2) the Sporting Regulations allows the RD to call in the SC when he seems fit; and 3) there were no rules broken regarding when the SC was called in*.
        So much for ‘false arguments’ there ‘paperexpert’ :P

        * the only mistake was to have only five of the eight cars unlap themselves.

        1. The rules say, that the SC has to stay for one more lap, after the unlapping of lapped cars. So according to the rules either the lapped cars would have needed to stay, or there was no way to have a final green lap.

          Next to that, the “any doesnt mean all” argument is nothing, but a try to legitimate an irregular behaviour of the RD.

          But I guess you know perfectly well, and just dislike those facts.

          1. The rules say, that the SC has to stay for one more lap

            The rules also state “the RC can call in the safety car when it is safe to do so”. The FIA referred to the ambiguity of both rules, and confirmed that calling in the SC in line with this is 100% legal and correct.

            But this site and a lot of British press keep largely quiet on that part of the outcome of the official investigation (maybe it didn’t fit their preferred storyline) and it’s understandable that some fans like you missed that.

            I did not mention the ‘any doesn’t mean all’, but that was clearly a wrong (IMO thinnest of straws) argument.

            Yes Masi was inconsistent and made mistakes as RD, but calling in the SC on the penultimate lap of AD wasn’t part of that, as it was in line with the rules and teams were advised of this before the race (based on their own request).

          2. FIA confirmes their staff was correct. What other to expect?

        2. You are wasting your time trying to use a logical interpretation of the situation on muppets like Roman.
          He may have read a bit of the rule book but clearly he doesn’t understand what he is reading. Also he has no clue what the race directors role is and what powers he has. He is totally discounting the FACT that all the teams pre race agreed that the race should not end under a safety car. He will continue beating the same old tiresome drum and refuse to put it behind him and move on. I don’t know why people even respond to silly comments like he always make.

          1. Better read the rules, before commenting with orange glasses only.

          2. @romtrain,
            I think you should read those rules first, especially 48.13 of the July 2021 version.

            48.13 When the clerk of the course decides it is safe to call in the safety car the message “SAFETY CAR IN THIS LAP” will be sent to all Competitors via the official messaging system and the car’s orange lights will be extinguished. This will be the signal to the Competitors and drivers that it will be entering the pit lane at the end of that lap.

            And put on your reading glasses, whichever colour they may be.

          3. @jff better read more carefully

            39.12 f the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” has been sent to all teams via the official messaging system, any cars that have been lapped by the leader will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car.

            Unless the clerk of the course considers the presence of the safety car is still necessary, once the last lapped car has passed the leader the safety car will return to the pits at the end of the following lap.

          4. sry, wronge version. but the relevant version is identical here.

          5. A race director CANNOT ask three lapped cars to unlap themselves while the other lapped cars stay put. NEVER!!!!

          6. Dear extremely stubborn RomTrain,
            Please read my comment above (https://www.racefans.net/2022/09/05/hamilton-and-wolff-back-mercedes-strategists-100-after-dutch-gp-disappointment/#comment-4857151).
            When you come across the word ‘ambiguity’ do write it down, and look it up.
            Next go to the full version of last year’s Sporting Regulations and look up the rule I referred to above.

            I am sure that this will not be clear enough for you yet, so I suggest you now go to the executive summary of the detailed investigation around the events of last year’s race. This should give you some clarity about the meaning of the words and regulations I just referred to.
            With the risk of your world tumbling down you will now notice a section in said report stating:

            That although Article 48.12 may not have been applied fully, in relation to the safety car returning to the pits at the end of the following lap, Article 48.13 overrides that and once the message “Safety Car in this lap” has been displayed, it is mandatory to withdraw the safety car at the end of that lap.

            If still unclear then I suggest you ask your parents for help to explain it to you.

          7. Dear stubborn facts twister,

            48.12 was already broken when the safety car in this lap message was sent. Masi eventually had to leave for his ill-doings.

            And the stupid ‘any doesnt mean all’ was nothing but embarrasing.

            You are free to continue to live in your orange bubble, where Max won a legit WDC title. But you got to deal with others stating the truth, sorry.

          8. I see we are making small progress here, RomTrain,
            You seem to have a rough understanding of what ‘ambiguity’ means, but you still struggle to apply it to your preconceived worldview.
            I guess that ‘facts twister’ is an unwanted compliment to the links and references to facts I shared above, which undoubtedly will ‘twist’ with your mind and above-mentioned preconceived beliefs.
            Now let’s hope that one day you will grow up to comprehend those; the internet has patience.

            And no need to apologise again when you get it.
            You’re welcome!

      3. Itsmeagain (@)
        6th September 2022, 9:35

        ….and the story goes on and on for certain ‘fans’. Shouting and accusing ‘the other side’ for whatever it suits you, and blind for for facts you do not understand nor wanna read. And oh oh oh what is the ‘other side’ not informed into this sport. Reading your @roman and @romtrain comments here, and the type of language you use, we can see an endless row of frustration. Maybe a pair of orange glasses will help you to see the situation at a brighter sight…

        1. You mean your orange facts twister glasses? No thanks.

          Reality is not nice, having a WDC manipulated by the RD. But thats the way it was, and I will use my personal freedom to sometimes comment on facts-twisters like you, whether you like it or not.

      4. The problem was the delay in clearing the crash completely. I think there was a marshall having trouble with the crane or something. It was all on course for a normal restart until the delay, which in turn ramped up the pressure on Masi.
        I think Merc were probably feeling pretty lucky the longer it went on and thought a finish under SC was on.

  13. I think people calling the strategy poor are doing so with too much hindsight. In the situation they were in they didn’t have better options, nor was pitting both cars possible. One, the other or both cars were going to get hampered one way or another.
    It’s also nothing likr the Abu Dhabi debacle so we shouldn’t be comparing it.

    1. Yes they could. If Lewis pitted when Max did. George pitted the following lap.

    2. Had they brought in LH the lap after the RB stop, and asked GR to take it a bit easy on the pit entry, LH would’ve been in front of Max. The stop takes about 6s compared to other cars passing thru the pit lane. GR had a 4s gap to LH (there was a lapped car between them) GR also stopping would’ve meant they could double stack again and Verstappen would’ve been blocked enough to give LH a safe release window.

  14. It’s really a poor look for Lewis. First he nearly crashes again on the first lap. He then forgets about the maximum risk team strategy. He is so overcome by emotions that he makes multiple mistakes on the restart, doesn’t optimize the strategy and swears and screams at his team.

    1. Just another hate comment. Orange glasses off.

      1. They are the facts, that happened during that race.
        George kept a clear head, maximized what came to him and bested Lewis in the process.
        George didn’t insult his team while doing it.

        1. Sry, but it was RUS who forgot their strategy. And the team made a mistake which screwed it up for HAM. You are just twisting facts for your anti-fan narrative.

  15. The only strategy Merc should be thinking about now is giving George a wingman. He will need it if he is going to have any hope of getting second in the championship. C’mon Toto, time to back your current number 1 driver just have you have in previous years.

    1. Merc dont need to care for a P2 in WDC. And they usually use wingman strat only when essentially needed to reach WDC.

      Not like some other team, which use wingman strat from the first race on, and use a whole wing team.

      1. So much hate, m8!

  16. I think this was a pretty clear cut mistake by Mercedes. If the aim was to maximise points then they should have pitted both, if the aim was to try and win the race they should have pitted neither (even though it was a very slim chance) and if the aim was to split strategy then Hamilton should have been pitted as that was clearly going to be the faster way to the finish and being ahead of his teammate at the time, Hamilton had earned the right to the better strategy.

    Russell did nothing wrong from his own perspective – he knew that pitting for softs was his only chance of finishing 2nd and he also would have known that he wasn’t going to win the race. The team should have said no if they wanted to do the fair thing. I’m not surprised Hamilton was so angry about it!

    1. +1
      As they aligned beforehand to take risks for a chance to win, to not pit both drivers would have been the way to go. But they gave way to Russells demand and thereby screwed Hamilton.

      HAM only could have then waited til close to the start/finish line at the restart, to have better chances of staying P1. But having no chance to keep the position in the next lap it didnt make lots of a difference (unless you take the higher risks of crashes in the back of the field into account, which I dont think anyone should aim at for his personal benefit).

      1. @Romtrain:
        Do you agree that RB made the right call by replacing the Hard tire with the soft? The Medium was only a little faster than the Hard, and the RB is faster on a straight line. But they gave up the position to go to a soft tire…
        If you agree on the first question, the next one is: Is the Soft a better tire to finish a sprint race of less than 20 laps?
        I think you’ll agree to both.
        Then we have a basic set of data to work with: The pitlane in Zandfoord is narrow. Lewis is 4 seconds ahead of George, split by a lapped Williams, Max is 1.5s behind George. Is there a possibility to switch Lewis to the softs AND retain the lead? Answer here is: With a high probability, YES: George was angry at the Williams in front because the Williams was too slow, but that’s to be expected. Had Mercedes pitwall instructed Lewis and George to prepare for a second double stack, Lewis could’ve easily stopped, George would’ve blocked Max and Lewis had his free stop. George probably would’ve lost an extra position but that is less important than the possible win for Lewis.
        Keeping both on Mediums would’ve resulted in P3 and P4 at best (they were in luck that neither Perez nor Sainz went to soft)
        Mercedes hasn’t learnt a single thing from AbuD

        1. You still dont understand rules when mentioning last years manipulated finale, which necessarily would have needed to end under SC.

          And P3/P4 would have been the worst result when not pitting either car.

          It was pre-aligned team-strat to take risks for getting a chance to win. In the situation this would have meant, that both cars stay out and RUS blocks VER at restart as much as possible. HAM was screwed by the team when they decided to allow Russell to back out of their strat, not even informing him due to changing decisions in the last seconds. If HAM had known he would have requested to also pit, of course.

    2. “Russell did nothing wrong from his own perspective” True, but I was surprised at how easily Max had breezed past him earlier in the race. Could he have defended better?

      1. Could he have defended better? NO, just like Max could not contain Lewis in Brazil last year. Russel was on a harder tire, and had a lower top speed, so early acceleration, top speed and braking point are all in favor of Max.

  17. So all the experts with hindsight say Mercedes did the wrong thing with Lewis. So if you were in his position you would be extremely polite on the radio when you found out you had been screwed? As Verstappen whistles past you you wouldn’t shout an expletive here and there?

    1. The radio transmissions we here are very selective and rarely add anything for the real F1 enthusiasts. Instead they are cherry picked and rarely paint the drivers in a good light. I’m sure if I had a microphone taped to me for two hours at work, someone could pull out 30 seconds of fruity bits which make me sound like the most foul-mouthed ill-tempered person in the country.

    2. So if you were in his position you would be extremely polite on the radio when you found out you had been screwed?

      It’s typically a lack of arguments by the commenters when they start complaining about the words/language of a certain driver. We hardly see the better commenters here referring to those comments rather than when being impressed by (the insights reflected in) those comments.

      Those comments are made when under stress and in the heat of the moment.
      I find them quite interesting as it humanises the otherwise well media-trained drivers.

      1. I enjoy them too, it just shows the raw emotion of whatever they are going through at the time.
        What annoyed me was Lewis’ holier than thou comments about other drivers (mainly Max) watching what they say on team radio because of kids listening, then proceeds to do it himself.

  18. Mercedes is in a manufacturers race with Ferrari.

    If you are already better funded than you are allowed to spend, and first place is out of reach, do you want even more money (higher in standings), or would you rather have more CFD/tunnel dev time (lower in standings)?

    At this point I think Mercedes has every motivation to always roll low odds dice at the cost of overall team score.

  19. Yeah, that strategy makes sense. Anything that guarantees you lose makes sense.

    Ursula is contagious apparently.

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