Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Zandvoort, 2023

Sixth was “redemption” but podium was possible – Hamilton

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes were quick enough to score a podium finish in the Dutch Grand Prix after finishing the race in sixth place.

Both Mercedes drivers lost time early in the race as the team were late to call them into pit after rain fell on the first lap.

“It didn’t start off that well,” said Hamilton in response to a question from RaceFans. “But I’m pretty happy with the drive that I did to get back into the points and get sixth.

“It could have been higher for sure, if we made the right decision at the end of the day.”

Mercedes underestimated how long the rain would last at the start, and tried to leave Hamilton and George Russell out on slick tyres. “We should have pitted, but we didn’t,” Hamilton admitted. “We paid the price for that, and we did our best to come back.”

Hamilton faced an uphill climb after failing to reach Q3 yesterday and qualifying a lowly 13th. “I feel like today was redemption, in the sense of it was terrible yesterday,” he said.

“I managed to dial the car in a bit better today and overtook a bunch of people. To start 13th, I was dead last at one point, to get back up to sixth, I’m happy with that.”

He ended the race pressing Carlos Sainz Jnr hard but was unable to pass the Ferrari for fifth. “The tyres were good,” he said, “just Sainz was slow and it was hard to get past him.”

He started the race 10 places behind his team mate, but Hamilton said his lap times compared well with those of race-winner Max Verstappen, and he is convinced a better result was possible.

“I think today I had the pace [for the podium],” he said. “I was on pace with Max in the race, but we were just out of position.”

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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...
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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15 comments on “Sixth was “redemption” but podium was possible – Hamilton”

  1. They were last of the inter runners after the first stops so yeah they messed up really bad. Hamilton could have been racing Alonso and Pérez for second no doubt. Russell could have been there too but he seemed possibly slower than the McLarens on pace while Hamilton was clearly quicker than them.

    That in car shot behind Russell when he almost had an airplane crash twice was crazy. I don’t know how Hamilton didn’t go off thinking he was about to smash into his teammate at 250kph.

  2. Mercedes not taking the gamble for inters after the first lap was major incompetence. The guy was 14th, had nothing to lose. The not doing it the next lap either, with neither driver. As the ones with all the information on their hands, they should’ve demanded the drivers to come in.

    And then were 3 or 4 laps too slow to react to everything happening around them.

    As a team they are just not very good at the moment. The car seemed good enough today and maybe on par with Aston Martin, but they lost too many opportunities to maximize its potential.

    1. no need to demand, lewis wanted to pit for inters the team said he must stay out. Don’t know why they didn’t pit lewis since he was P13 and they could have tried something with him

      1. Mercedes put great trust on the algorithms rather than common sense.
        Such inflexibility shows itself when the field is very competitive. It would have been okay in 2014.

        1. And later got undercut by Norris, losing what, 4s at least? After being under 1s.

        2. all merc had to do was look at perez times and that would have told them to pit for inters instead of staying out if they didn’t trust the weather

      2. Even worse was to start Hamilton on Mediums, knowing that rain could come. Then being on Mediums and not pitting when the back straight was already full of spray.

    2. Edvaldo, you make very good points there. I am surprised too that they didn’t at least split the strategy, take the chance with LH on the early stop and leave GR out for the late stop. If nothing else, the data they’d get back from LH’s car would have helped them decide whether or not to pit GR next time around, and at that stage it was GR competing at the sharp end.

  3. Hamilton showed his class today for sure. Too bad they bungled the first rain shower so badly.

  4. We’ll never know but I think had they made the same move as Perez (which they should have given his start position) then he’d have easily been fighting Alonso. I think Verstappen had a lot of pace in hand and let’s not forget he was well clear prior to the rain and red flag.

  5. Starting on medium with rain coming – strange
    Driving past the pits at end of lap 2 – strange
    Pitting Russel for hards while on 6 lap old softs – strange

    As usual – Mercedes is very optimistic after the race with their claims – in reality there too late stop for inters didn’t hurt them that much as Lewis was 13th again on lap 17 once every one had pitted back to dry tires – nothing gained/lost. Lewis did lose a lot of time as he was 40 seconds behind Max but luckily Logan took care of that – without that safety car Lewis wouldn’t have finished 6th.

    Interestingly enough Albon didn’t pit at all – started 4th (soon to be 5th) and by lap 17 was still 8th only 19 seconds behind Max so 20 seconds ahead of Lewis despite driving all those laps through the rain.
    Even more interestingly Lewis was 13th on lap 5 within Albon 0.8 seconds behind him in 14th.

    1. whose decision was it to pit russell for hards cause sometimes russell likes to gamble with tyres

  6. “He started the race 10 places behind his team mate, but Hamilton said his lap times compared well with those of race-winner Max Verstappen, and he is convinced a better result was possible.”

    Interestingly – he might have felt that but the reality is that he was miles of Max’s pace.
    The only times he was faster than Max was after his 2nd and 3rd stop for fresher softs and only because he pitted earlier than Max. Just before the rain was coming Lewis was doing real well to lap similar to Verstappen despite his soft tires being a few laps older although not sure if Lewis pitted for fresh softs (didn’t do Q3) and I know Max pitted for used softs.
    * Over the 4 laps after their 1st stop, Lewis was losing 1.5 second per lap to Max.
    * Over the 21 laps after 1st restart (I excluded the first 2 laps after restart) Lewis lost 25 seconds to Max.
    – Max drove on average 75.401 (slowest 75.783 and fastest 75.071)
    – Lewis drove on average 76.592 (slowest 77.611 and fastest 75.729)

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th August 2023, 12:14

    Lewis makes F1 so much fun to watch. I really can’t imagine the sport without him. Even when he’s having the worst start, race, and strategy, he still delivers. That tussle at the end with Sainz was the highlight of the race.

    1. At the restart end lap 21/start lap 22 Lewis was 13th in the same place he started only now on same tires as everyone else and several slower cars ahead of him and Russell and Piastri behind him.

      So certainly not the worst start and/or strategy – nothing gained/lost for Hamilton.

      Lewis had a good drive after the restart and a fun fight with Sainz after the 2nd restart but still a bad result given he and the team screwed up Q2 and failed to score better than 6th in 2nd fastest car.

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