Lewis Hamilton had reasons to leave the Zandvoort circuit frustrated this Sunday (4). The driver held the lead at the Dutch GP, but due to a questionable strategy by Mercedes he ended the race off the podium. Even with the superiority of Max Verstappen, winner of the race, the Briton would have a chance to be among the top three. He ended up fourth and yelled at the team, “I can’t believe you f…”
At Live F1 by Seixas and Flaviotransmitted by UOL Esporte right after the Formula 1 races, journalists Fábio Seixas and Flavio Gomes analyzed Mercedes’ decision not to call Hamilton to make a pit stop. Both considered that the team didn’t have many options at that moment without taking risks.
It all started when Valtteri Bottas abandoned the race after his Alfa Romeo stopped on the main straight at Zandvoort. The safety car entered the track and leader Verstappen took to the pits, switching from hard tires to soft. He came back behind Hamilton and Russell, who shortly afterwards also made a pit stop and put on soft compounds. Hamilton did not stop for the change and, with medium and worn tyres, was easy prey for the Dutchman at the restart. He was even overtaken by teammate and Charles Leclerc.
“They saw that it would be a risky strategy and, at the time of risk, they played with the driver who was further back and had the least to lose, which was Russell. When things start to go wrong, everything goes wrong. Mercedes did not commit. this mistake some time ago. It was more linked to a title dispute, which didn’t give you the right to make a mistake. In the past, Mercedes would never make a mistake like that”, evaluated Seixas.
In Gomes’ view, Mercedes didn’t have much choice. “Stopping both of them wouldn’t work. They were passing through the pit, in single file, behind the safety car, and that wouldn’t be possible. As the pit lane is very tight, one car would stop and the other would be waiting in the middle. Mercedes had to make a choice and went for Russell, and that must have upset Hamilton a lot. But it’s not an easy decision”, pointed out the UOL columnist.
Despite the problem with Hamilton, Gomes considered that the German team performed well at the Dutch circuit. “Mercedes had a good race. They had a different strategy, initially with one pit stop. It could work out and I think I would have come in second and third. [após o abandono de Tsunoda]Mercedes was forced to change its strategy and lost the possibility of having one less pit stop”, he said.
Although Hamilton was frustrated with the race result, Gomes saw a positive balance for Mercedes. “You would screw one or the other. It was a very difficult decision to make quickly, but it has consequences. In this case, it hampered Hamilton’s end of the race. But Mercedes has improved a lot compared to what they presented at the Belgian GP, where it was a total disaster,” he concluded.
Don’t miss out! The next edition of Live F1 by Seixas and Flavio it will be right after the Italian GP on September 11th. You can follow the program on the UOL Channel, on the UOL Esporte channel on Youtube and on the social networks of UOL.