The Tuesday following a Grand Prix weekend, is when the Mercedes AMG F1 team carry out their usual race weekend debrief back in Brackley.
Niki Lauda was all guns blazing in Monaco following the debacle that saw Lewis lose the 2015 race due to an error which saw him return to the track following an unscheduled second pit stop – a mere 0.5 seconds behind his team mate Nico Rosberg.
Favourite to carry the can is Paddy Lowe, as Lauda told German TV the final decision to pit Hamilton lay with Paddy Lowe. The chairman of the supervisory board for the Mercedes F1 team added, “I have instructed Toto Wolff to find out what went wrong”, Lauda thundered.
Yet TJ13 believes a contributory factory was faulty pit stop equipment. Lewis stop was 1.3 seconds longer than his first. He missed his mark, and the whole tyre was beyond the line where he should have stopped. This would account for between two and three tenths of a second.
Felipe Nasr entered the pits about four seconds behind Hamilton, and when car number 44 was dropped to the floor, Hamilton had to be held to avoid being penalised for an unsafe release.
However, when Hamilton was up to full pit lane speed following Nasr who was about to pit – he was nigh on 1.5 seconds behind the Sauber. This is an inordinate distance even when accounting for the safe release protocols.
TJ13 has learned the Mercedes pit lane crew member who provides the signal for Hamilton to be released, made attempts to give the green light for Hamilton to go, but was thwarted by the equipment.
This accounts for why Lewis was stationary for almost a second after the front jack man had cleared, and why Hamilton was so far behind the Sauber when finally released. The lost time here alone would have been enough for Mercedes to get Lewis out ahead of his team mate.
It may be true that Mercedes strategists were playing with fire calling this pit stop, but the ultimate link in the chain of events was beyond even them.