Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2022

Hamilton wanted to start Mexican Grand Prix with different tyre strategy

2022 Mexican Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton admitted Mercedes didn’t get their tyre strategy right in the Mexican Grand Prix after being beaten to victory by Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes driver started the race on the medium tyre compound and switched to hards as he pursued his Red Bull rival, who started on softs and switched to mediums. Mercedes hoped the medium tyres would not stand up to a long second stint and Hamilton would close on his rival, but Verstappen ran home the winner by 15 seconds.

“I’m not sure it was the right tyre in the end,” admitted Hamilton, who revealed he did not want to start the race on the medium compound. “I thought we should have started on the soft but obviously we had the opposite tyre [to Verstappen].

“It was okay in the first stint but that hard was just so offset.”

Hamilton was able to keep Verstappen within sight over the opening stint and led briefly after Verstappen pitted. “I was so close in that first stint,” he said, “but I think the Red Bull is just clearly too fast today. And ultimately maybe they had the better tyre strategy.”

Hamilton was able to beat Sergio Perez to second place, after the Red Bull driver had a slow pit stop. “Congratulations to Max and it’s great to be up here and separate the two,” he said.

“This has been an amazing crowd. Definitely a bit awkward this time round – boos all day. But nonetheless I have so much love for Mexico and for the people here. And what a great race and event they’ve put on this weekend.”

Hamilton’s fourth second place finish moves him up to fifth place in the drivers’ championship, overtaking Carlos Sainz Jnr.

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2022 Mexican 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...

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9 comments on “Hamilton wanted to start Mexican Grand Prix with different tyre strategy”

  1. Mercedes finally had the fastest car of the weekend this year, but failed to deliver the fast lap in Q3 and lacked the ambition to win the race with such passive strategy.

    1. They’re improving fast, but the only reason Hamilton kept with Max on the first stint was because Max was on worse tyres and had to make them last so as not to run too long on the mediums later.

      With the mediums on they ran with it. Mercedes was no match.

      1. Mercedes was pretty much equal or faster than red bull this weekend. Max finished 15 sec at the end over 45 laps. That’s just ~0.3 sec/lap with a significant tyre advantage, without the need to drive too conservatively as the mediums could last 50 laps.

        Merc and HAM and RUS dropped the ball this weekend – had they started on softs, most likely one of the cars would have overtaken Max, seeing how pole has never been favourable at this circuit.

        1. RedBull is a rocketship that all. Number of win this year?

        2. I don’t think there was any issue to start on medium to be honest, but switching both cars to hard was the wrong call. They should have at least put Russell to the soft. It was clear from other teams that the soft was pretty durable and by doing few extra laps on medium with Russell, they could have made it work (and probably even without waiting). I guess Mercedes was afraid to give a gap for Verstappen to pit and come ahead of Russell with a new set of soft, hence the “static” strategy to force RedBull in going to the end or having to lose time behind Russell…

          Understandable strategy but not quite very aggressive from a team that pretends they would take all the risks for a win. Lacked some risk, split strategy and a bit of surprise to be dangerous.

        3. Mercedes fitted the hard tyres because they couldnt allow verstappen to have a 10+ sec gap ahead after the pits and It was way too early for softs.

          I see no reason at all to say that Mercedes was faster. They were on the better tyre on the first stint and could barely keep up.

          Suddenly the distant 3rd fastest car is faster than the class of the field that won 16 out of 19, yet could not ever get close to it in any moment of the race.

          When Ferrari is out of the picture, somebody else has to have the fastest car, right?

  2. Mercedes should have started on softs and then gone to mediums. Not only that but starting from behind on the softs would have gotten them DRS for the overtake, as they had the measure of anything the Redbulls. Instead, Redbull started on softs with the purpose of breaking that DRS advantage.

    Mercedes on the hards, tried with their radio calls to bluff the Redbulls into a second stop, but Redbulls simply didn’t need to.

    1. Yeah. Once Max got more than two seconds ahead and broke the draft it was pretty much over for Mercedes. It was interesting to see the basically stead gap of about 1.5 seconds, but once it got over 2.0 it just kept increasing. Really good strategy from Red Bull; I was convinced they would have to stop again, but once they got within 20 laps of the end it was obvious they were on a one stop. Not a big fan, but Max is driving amazingly well, totally on it. His maturation this year is profound.

  3. Changing the tyre strategy won’t work for Merc. Hire better drivers.

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