Video: The fateful radio call that cost Hamilton the 2015 Monaco GP

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Bernie Ecclestone and FOM have finally dragged themselves into the 21st century. Whilst the new F1.com site and app still have their problems, the commercial rights holder for Formula One is at least attempting to in some small way market the sport.

Race edits of 3-4 minutes are being produced by FOM TV and are available on F1.com this year. Though for some reason there appears to be no facility for these to be embedded on the thousands of F1 independent websites around the world.

The 2014 Monaco GP is now available to watch (here)

After 30 seconds on glamour shots to catwalk style music, the cars and drivers are revealed. Crucially, we hear the fateful exchange between Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team which cost him the race.

Peter Bonnington to Lewis Lewis Hamilton: Safety Car, Safety Car. So we are staying out.

Lewis Hamilton to Peter Bonnington: Are you sure it’s the best thing to stay out? These tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone’s going to be on options now.

Peter Bonnington to Lewis Hamilton: OK. Copy, copy. Box, box.

TJ13 has examined the lap charts and race footage and there was sufficient a gap from Sebastian Vettel to Daniel Kvyat, for the Ferrari to have pitted and rejoined ahead of the Red Bull. The Mercedes team were concerned about the time it would take for Hamilton’s worn prime tyres to warm up based on previous data they had from Saturday.

Mark Hughes explains that in during qualifying and FP2, “new primes needed five laps to reach temperature – it was feasible that a set of used primes would never have regained their temperature. This is a phenomenon we’ve seen many times before; with so little rubber left on the tread, it often cannot bend and twist enough to generate the heat needed to initiate the chemical bonding process that’s one of the two mechanisms of a tyre’s grip.

Without being able to generate good cornering loads, the core of the tyre remains brittle and inflexible too and cannot help the tread by bending under load, thereby making it yet more difficult for the tread etc in a vicious downwards spiral. It was quite feasible that such a tyre would have been disastrously gripless once the race restarted – possibly to the tune of five/six seconds per lap”.

Given this scenario, Hamilton and Rosberg would have been sitting ducks to a charging Ferrari. The problem was that Mercedes could not know whether Vettel was going to pit, because Hamilton was so far ahead of him.

The team had enough time to get Hamilton in and out and retain the lead of the race, however three factors came into play which finally lost Lewis the race.

Firstly, there were problems with the GPS meant Mercedes did not account for the Sauber of Felipe Nasr, who pitted around four seconds after Lewis Hamilton.

This meant Hamilton had to wait following his tyre change, to avoid being penalised for an unsafe release.

Secondly, Lewis badly missed his stop mark in the pit box, his wheels completely beyond the halt line, which meant the mechanics lost valuable time adjusting their positions to change his wheels.

Third, when Hamilton was released and at full pit lane speed following Nasr, he was 1.5 seconds behind the Sauber, this gap represents more time lost at the point of release.

TJ13 reported earlier this week, there was a problem with the pit equipment which signals to the driver he is ‘good to go’. So by the time the light went green, the Sauber was well past the point where a safe release could have been performed.

The Sauber pitting, the bad positioning of the car in the pit box and the slow release all meant Hamilton’s stop was 1.3 seconds longer than his first.

Lewis emerged at the safety car two line just 0.45 seconds behind Rosberg.

One moment of amusement in the F1.com video, is a radio call from Vettel as he passes Hamilton who had parked up at Portier on the parade lap after the chequered flag. In his clipped German accent he efficiently reports back to Ferrari, “I think he is going home – straight away”.

This video is not really for F1 fans, but may get shared by those more mildly interested in Formula One, like our very own podcast guest – Daryl.

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58 responses to “Video: The fateful radio call that cost Hamilton the 2015 Monaco GP

  1. given the assumption that Merc believed they could get Hamilton in and out, and the quote
    “it was quite feasible that such a tyre would have been disastrously gripless once the race restarted – possibly to the tune of five/six seconds per lap” – one could easily draw the conclusion that Nico was left out as the aforementioned “sitting duck” to protect the teams Number 1 driver from attack from Vettel on fresh options….only for their planning to go royally ducks up 🙂

    Good thing there are no crazed Nico fans ready to jump up and down ranting hysterically about conspiracies then…….just saying 🙂

    btw…I’m not a crazed Nico fan and think given the understanding that the lead car (whomever may have been in it) could pit and rejoin in first then this would indeed have been a sensible strategy….IF they could actually have got the lead car in and out safely.

    It’s easy to damn all in hindsight, if it wasn’t Lauda would never have anything to say!!

    • I’m glad you highlighted the tire warm up from the article.

      It’s an important context. Mark Hughes’ excellent report brought that to the fore, but in the race things had changed drastically because the track temp was significantly higher (by 5C) than either Thursday or Saturday.

      All the teams noted the tire warm-up of the first stopper for the primes. Sainz was the first racer to stop for the primes (lap 12), and his new tires switched on in 1 lap. Grosjean pitted lap 17, and his new softs switched on after 3 laps.

      When the leaders pitted later, their experiences were:
      Lewis – pitted lap 38 – tires switched on 2nd lap
      Rosberg – pitted lap 37 – tires switched on 2nd lap
      Vettel – pitted lap 36 – tires switched on 2nd lap
      Kimi – Lap 37 – 2nd lap

      But what the teams were concerned about was the cloud cover moved over the track in the latter laps, and cooled the track. So now most racers were out on old softs (primes). A primary concern when the VSC came out was no-one was sure when those tires would come back into their operating zone.

      With cold old softs, this explains why Vettel was so colorful on the radio with his metaphor, of swimming with weights on his legs. He was concerned about Hamilton, but what made him very concerned was he had very little grip. Hamilton’s radio response in this article reflected his tires had lost all their grip, and hence he also felt very vulnerable to fresh SS tires, like Vettel did.

      In this context, both drivers were doing their job. The teams are blind as to how slippery the tires actually are in safety car conditions. The drivers in the car could feel the situation, and they correctly reported the conditions of the tires. It’s what world champions like Vettel and Hamilton are paid to do.

      • Correction to this sentence, “Sainz… new tires switched on in 1 lap.” I’ve worded poorly. It should read switched on _after_ 1 lap, aka on the 2nd lap.

  2. But you can’t blame Lewis for this! Bla bla bla. He ask for a stop and he overshoots his markings in the pit, I say he has about 45% of the fault to blame to for himself ( I just made that number up, but you catch my drift)

    • “He ask for a stop ”

      And it’s the team’s responsibility to mutter: “Negative, Lewis. Stay out.” or if you prefer “Lewis, leave me alone. I know what I’m doing. Stay out.” They have all the data, and sufficient breathing space to actually make an intelligent, informed decision. Drivers in cockpits boil in adrenaline, and it’s the team’s duty to temper them.

      • And that’s why the team have the rest of the blame. They should have said no. But you win togheter. You lose togheter. So saying it’s all the teams fault is just wrong.

        • We all like to say the team needs the drivers, for developing the car for instance. So in 1 race I also believe they are working together. I think it’s easy to blame mercedes, but you only focus on the fact that they had to tell Lewis to stay out ( and I agree) but there are more factors. And after all it was Lewis who drove to far in the pit. Can’t blame anyone else for that… it’s just a big pile up of little mistakes.

        • Sure, you win and lose togtether but if part of the team screws up, it is what it is.

          I’m serious when I iterate that I am consistently baffled at how people are willing to resort to reductionist, non-contextual thinking whenever it suits their aims.

          And this isn’t something that can be written off as some sort of pro-Hamilton stance; that, too,
          is reductionist. Just look at the knee-jerk responses to the thinking that a 17-year old with little experience in his chosen craft of maneuvering killing machines around road courses that can cause the very best of drivers to err, and sometimes err egregiously, might not be a very good idea!

          • “Just look at the knee-jerk responses to the thinking that a 17-year old with little experience in his chosen craft of maneuvering killing machines around road courses that can cause the very best of drivers to err, and sometimes err egregiously, might not be a very good idea!”

            If I may add to this. Elevating Max Verstappen to F1 after an unfinished season in open-wheelers is akin to taking a brilliant first year undergrad student and placing them in the surgery room at the medical center in charge of a heart transplant, bypassing all of college, graduate work and medical practice. Can’t see how this could go wrong… But hey, Red Bull did get the eyeballs and attention they were eyeballing…

        • “you win togheter. You lose togheter.”

          This is a mechanism to accept defeat, NOT a mechanism to assign blame.

          People say this when one screws royally (e.g. driver crashes), and other side needs to somehow “take one for the team”. So the go-to excuse is “OK, this time you screwed badly, but other times we screw up too, so hey, we shouldn’t get too mad at each other”. It’s a way to say “let’s move on and try to make sure next time neither side of the team makes mistakes like that”. To put things into perspective, when Pastor crashes weekend-in, weekend-out, how often do you think it’s the team to blame?

          In Monaco the lion’s share of the blame was squarely on the team’s shoulders… Lewis had an opinion, of course, but senior team members should have known better.

      • Key part of the exchange “Everyone’s going to be on Options now”. Perhaps Bonnington didn’t have info but none of his competitors were planning to come in and Rosberg couldn’t due to Vettel’s postition, which Peter should have known and had he relayed to Lewis might have altered his thinking significantly.

        .Fairly sure opponents tyre strategy far game for radio, but to me that clearly shifts responsibility back to team to get stop right.

        Of course, had the stop worked out, if any one of those events not occurred, Mercedes would’ve looked even more dominant and awesome, and Lewis would have swanned his way to victory. I do feel kind of sad as it was a bit risky and honestly if we are to have anything interesting occur this season it will likely have to be on the back of Mercedes trying something risky and getting it wrong. This is just likely to discourage such behaviour.

        • Not much point relaying an uncertainty to HAM. Ricciardo had stopped, they couldn’t know what Vettel would do – and the tyre data from the Saturday suggested new soft options could be several seconds a lap quicker.

          “Hi Lewis, we have no way of knowing whether Vettel will stop – you sure about this?”

          Not really sure that would alter Hamilton’s thinking.

          Also, Merc still had the option to stop Rosberg should the Ferrari mechanics have appeared.

          • Uncertainty? They knew what they were planning to do for Rosberg.
            “Hi Lewis, we have no way of knowing whether Vettel will stop, BUT ROSBERG WON’T BE STOPPING – you sure about this?”

          • Because in their data they had the window to get him in and out – 1.3 seconds lost on pit stop 2 seconds lost behind the safety car – they couldn’t see the safety car – GPS was down – Lewis didn’t report he was losing time behind the SC, because he wasn’t until Rascasse.

        • @mattpt55
          “if we are to have anything interesting occur this season it will likely have to be on the back of Mercedes trying something risky and getting it wrong.”

          If I may give you a ray of light… My view is that both the Malaysia and Monaco SC cock-ups have occurred as a result of Merc trying something conservative and getting it wrong. I’d bet a dollar and half that the Merc pitwall will keep trying to go conservative—since it’s theirs for the losing, and they clearly feel that way—and when we’re lucky we’ll get the occasional screw-up.

          It’s fun to note that even with the most dominant car in decades, Merc are hard pressed to break consecutive records. Take Nico: only last week did he manage his 2nd consecutive win, in iffy circumstances, something Finger Boy… ahem… broke a couple of times in the past in his paltry Red Bull.

          Anyways, for me the latest Monaco screw-up is a stark reminder of how the 3 Stooges taken together are less than the sum of their parts. Or, as it happens, anergy.

    • Did he ask for one or did he merely asked if it was a good idea to stay out? Simple answer would’ve been yes. If you like, cast your mind back to Singapore ’14 to a similar situation. Difference is, no matter how much he wanted to pit, the pitwall stuck to the plan.

      Furthermore the moment he mentions the others will be on fresh options, it was then they should’ve told him they weren’t planning to pit Nico.

      • “Furthermore the moment he mentions the others will be on fresh options, it was then they should’ve told him they weren’t planning to pit Nico.”

        Indeed so.

        • The team tells Lewis not to pit.

          Lewis tells the team he thinks they should pit for new tyres.

          The team agrees and the TJ13 Hamilfosi blame them for listening to the driver who is actually in control of the car and can feel what state the tyres are in.

          Hmm…

          • Reductionism… Let’s see how I fare:
            Driver tells team he thinks those behind pitted, and team doesn’t give him relevant information (they know Nico wouldn’t pit).
            Driver asks for pit, team fails at due diligence wrt gaps, fails to inform their 2nd driver to slow as much as possible under SC speeds to accommodate other driver pitting, fails to account for the Sauber that could hold him up, fails to release him in time…

            The team decides it is reasonable to pit and, bar Hamilton’s self-inflicted 1m off marks, cocks up pretty much every part of that process, yet TJ13 Hamilton haters (?; but if you’re no hater then I’m no Hamilfosi) blame the driver for suggesting to the team that a tire change may be a good idea given that drivers behind had changed tires (what he thought and told the team), the team who is actually in control of the data relevant to make an informed decision (contrary to the driver who’s been drinking adrenaline for past hour or so) and can make a pertinent appraisal of how different Hamilton’s situation is from that of other drivers and can (and should) inform their driver of what the others are doing.

            Hmm…

      • Given the history between Lewis and the pitwall I’m really not too surprised Merc bowed to his query. In other races where they’ve not pitted him, subsequently incorrectly, they’ve had a shit storm nearly as big as this one. Its easy to see how this scenario played out given the history, radio chat, varying sc gaps and so on.

        Merc will take all the blame like a good team, but its not solely their error.

        • Let’s check out the logic of the thought that two statements by Lewis Hamilton, one in obvious error to ANYONE watching the race, the other a flat statement concerning his perceived state of his tires, adds up to Hamilton being at fault.

          On the screen Hamilton said he saw the pit crew readying for someone to box. Since he hadn’t been forewarned of a pit stop he gathered the crew was readying for Nico. As a result, Hamilton makes his observations about Rosberg and Vettel being on fresh options.

          Hamilton’s statement of error went I corrected by the engineers. Further, Hamilton’s crew failed to inform him (and properly take in the information themselves) that Vettel hadn’t yet caught the safety car, which would, in a vacuum, dictate that they would have Hamilton wait another lap to find out whether Vettel would pit. If Vettel doesn’t pit, Hamilton’s worries are few. However, if Wolff, Bonnington, et al. we’re properly assessing the situation they would have also taken into consideration whether or not Vettel, if he pitted, would come out behind at least one other car. If that was the case – a good case can be made for that occurrence since, if Vettel hadn’t caught the safety car, the cars behind him hadn’t either and would be hustling to do so – Hamilton still had few worries because Vettel would be forced to have to pass anyone ahead of him within a lap to even entertain the idea of catching Hamilton. And we all know that, at Monaco, a pass is far easier said than done – Vettel proved by fending off Hamilton.

          So, between failing to inform Hamilton of the situation of the two drivers behind him and failing to properly assess the actual threat posed by Vettel had the Ferrari boxed, every decision-maker panicked and immediately bowed to what they perceived as a Hamilton mandate to pit because of the persistent memory of a past occurrence that resulted in Lewis causing a “shit storm.”

          At this point, knowing what we all know of the situation, in order to assess blame to Hamilton, logic must be tossed out the proverbial window. It appears any excuse to cast blame on Hamilton is better than dealing with what actually occurred during those crucial moments of the race.

          (Interestingly, after the race Rosberg said he was able to get acceptable temperature back into his tires which enabled him to fend off any possible threat from Vettel.)

    • First, the overshoot was 30cm, and would’ve cost 0.1 to 0.2 secs. So that wasn’t relevant.

      Second, what Lewis did was his job. He reported two things, “These tyres have lost all their temperature. Everyone’s going to be on options now.”

      The first thing that Lewis reported is absolutely correct, and no matter what, he needed to communicate the tire conditions to the team. They have some data, but behind the (virtual or analog) safety cars only he would’ve felt and known the exact condition of the tires.

      The second thing that Lewis reported, “Everyone’s going to be on options now,” was what he had noticed from the TV screen. While Hamilton assumed that to be the case, it was Mercedes who knew that Rosberg and Vettel had not pitted. Furthermore, they knew that Rosberg was not going to pit.

      The real error is not the gap calculation error(s), but that once again, Ferrari’s new (unheralded) strategist, Iñaki Rueda (whose first race for Ferrari was… Malaysia, the race where they outsmarted Mercedes), has outsmarted Mercedes’ strategist James Vowles.

      The real story is this battle between these two strategist. In this context, if we look closely at Toto’s Tuesday evening twitter interview, following their internal debrief, Mercedes and Vowles remain very much behind the eight ball against Rueda.
      That interview is here btw – http://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/news/2015/asktoto-monaco-gp-debrief/

      • Thanks for the link to Toto’s q&a, one thing you can’t accuse Toto of is not having an answer for everything (good or bad) 🙂 interesting for me, was his answer to the question of harming Lewis on purpose to help Nico in the WDC, his answer implied we would never do this as (only as?) Ferrari are a threat. Didn’t pay any attention to Nico’s outbreaking himself on purpose rumours from 2014, but Ferrari were clearly no threat then.
        Btw I tend to agree with Ferrari and think half Mercs problem is they still think it’s theirs to throw away, tends to lead to over conservative decision making.

      • Vortex- Exactly.

        Having watched replay after replay of the pit stop, you’re right about the minute amount – but overstated consistently – by which Hamilton missed his mark.

        In-race: as soon as Hamilton mentioned his tire temp and mistakenly thinking Rosberg and Vettel, “Will be on fresh options,” he should’ve been immediately informed that they hadn’t pitted but instead was told, “Okay Lewis, box, box.”

        Post race: all four Sky commentators said the gap was but 19.5 seconds and that they knew Hamilton didn’t have enough time to cover Rosberg – and then they showed Vettel speeding up to ensure Hamilton came out after him.

        Post Race: missing has been an account of the, in front of all F1 media and the viewing public, extended meeting of Mercedes engineers. It was obvious there was quite a bit of hashing out going on, blame being cast and shared. And there was no mistaking that it concerned the gaffe that cost Hamilton a second Monaco victory.

        Post race: it was Hamilton who twice mentioned that he and the team win and lose together and for his magnanimous statements he was praised.

        Post race: in retrospect I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Sky interview with Nuco Hulkenberg hasn’t been mentioned in any race recounting. When asked, “on a scale of one to 10,” how angry he’d be if he was Hamilton, Hulkenberg quickly replied, “Twelve.”

        Post race: added to one account was Vettel’s quip about Hamilton heading straight home but what was omitted from any account was Vettel spending extended time with Hamilton, obviously consoling his rival-peer; missing was the handshake-embrace from Vettel with Seb not once but twice whispering something to Hamilton. Missing was Vettel’s extended hanging out with Lewis as he sat on the wall, disconsolate.

        • DWil shared – “When asked, “on a scale of one to 10,” how angry he’d be if he was Hamilton, Hulkenberg quickly replied, “Twelve.””

          Really great post, DWil!

          Hulkenberg’s quote, Vettel’s actions, (and Nico’s words), give an interesting insight into how Hamilton’s peers view 1) Monaco (more than another opportunity to score points, but a jewel in the crown, etc), and 2) how they view Hamilton’s weekend performance.

          Hamilton’s BBC blog post last week offered some useful candid insights on 1) how drivers view Monaco in general, 2) why the track is so challenging to a driver, 3) the greater importance of the weekend performance here (vs focusing only on Sunday), and most importantly 4) he identified three very specific corners where his performance has been lacking in his eight prior weekends here.

          That latter point is key, btw.

          I believe (ok, not sure) it was the Sky folks who noted Saturday that Lewis appears to have figured out those three turns, (T1 St. Devote, T12 Tabac, & T18 Rascasse), and that helped him win pole position. He used that advantage over Nico all through the race.

          Having been one of the first to be concerned that jet-setting and skirt chasing was going to affect his track performance, let me say that Hamilton’s Monaco weekend clearly shows that I, (and Damon Hill and Stirling Moss) was very wide of the mark. Lewis studied, was prepared, and then executed very well all weekend long. When the team let him down, he was incredibly professional in his demeanor, given how important this race is to him.

          DWil’s post here helps bring that context to the fore.

          • I wouldn’t exactly call his petulant post-race antics professional, especially as he wasn’t free of blame for the cock-up. But everything else I can agree with. He’d been flawless until lap 65.

          • @hippo. I’d rather have him act this way and sort things out for himself this way. Instead of getting out of the car furious and acting like a little girl… this one showed a grown up Lewis. when I was a kid my mom used to say if you get angry, first count to ten and then act. And that is exactly what Lewis did.

    • @landroni:
      But he hasn’t been “drinking adrenaline for past hour or so”. He’s been cruising for essentially the entire race, something that may also have contributed to the problem. I think part of what happened can be attributed to a sense of sudden panic descending on Lewis (who suddenly paranoidly believes everyone else has pitted) and the team (who were expecting a cake walk, not another pit stop) – and that sudden panic contributed to the wrong decisions and assumptions being made. It’s happened before at Monaco, something about the setting that can influence that sudden panic.

      • “But he hasn’t been “drinking adrenaline for past hour or so”. ”

        I’ve tried a professional simulator once. I’ve driven the car for a mere 15 minutes or so, putting it in the wall without going over 100 kph, spinning at every possible and improbable occasion, so basically not even cruising, yet the adrenaline rush that I experienced was unmistakable.

        People may be harking that these cars are easy to drive, but driving them is such an… involved process. Just making sure that your F1 car isn’t spinning due to this bump, and that bump (and Monaco will have its fair share of bumps) is a very conscious process that requires resolute focus and sharp instincts and microscopic steering adjustments.

        Think how Sainz lost it with no obvious reason, and what he needed to do to not bin it in the wall:

        • Yeah but you aren’t of the same calibre that Lewis is now are you? I’ve been doing athletics for virtually my whole life that doesn’t mean I’m as good as Micheal johnson ever was. Apples and oranges

          • Far from insinuating that I’d be as good as Lewis at driving these monsters. I’m merely suggesting that even for pros not putting it into the wall at the nearest occasion doesn’t simply come by chance… So “cruising” is a relative term, to say the least.

          • Agreed. But I still believe most of them are the best drivers of the moment and that’s why I believe they can do it with a little bit less effort than we believe. And I mean the driving first without pushing or threat from behind. If they are in a dogfight it’s a different case. Everybody said vettel had it easy, and he was always cruising in the lead. And for a part this is True, the best car gives you this advantage. An advantage that Lewis enjoys now. And this is also down to both of them because they are both better than their biggest rival ( team mates)

  3. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, like they say and Nico has yet to prove he can win without swathes of luck. Hamilton made a poor call but Merc should have set him straight rather than try and be too clever for their own boots, track position is king in Monaco as has been proven time and again. No conspiracies just piss poor strategy from Merc, again! 😉

    • “One swallow doesn’t make a summer…”

      I agree, however I think Lewis had at least three swallow; so perhaps Summer isn’t that far away.

  4. ” three factors came into play which finally lost Lewis the race.”

    I’ll add a fourth crucial factor. Right behind the lead Merc under the SC was the 2nd Merc. The nice types at Merc SHOULD HAVE instructed Rosberg to slow down as much as possible to allow Hamilton his pitstop, and cover off all possible eventualities of things going slower than anticipated.

    Failure to instruct Nico to accommodate Lewis’ pit stop under SC conditions is a 100% cock-up by the pit wall…

    • As a huge Lewis fan, I would have been horrified if Mercedes told Nico to slow down and Nico took note. I’m a bigger fan of racing, than I am of drivers, so glad they didn’t.

      • This is not as controversial as it may seem to you. Under the SC, teams having two cars following each other can have this option, and they have used it in the past. Some years back RB used this trick by asking Vettel to slow down and allow Webber a free stop.

        In Monaco asking Nico to gently slow down a bit to ensure precious 3-4 seconds don’t screw up a Merc 1-2 is as little controversial as it gets.

    • Drivers have to stay below a certain target time when catching the pace car. They can’t just dawdle around when it takes their fancy and it would have been an illegal driving instruction anyway.

      • They can hippo, it becomes a penalty if they drop more than 10 car lengths behind the safety car. That’s what they did in 2013, but instead of dropping back 4 seconds, Lewis dropped 6 instead.

        I think they call that the “Seb safety car rule”….😜😜

      • “Drivers have to stay below a certain target time when catching the pace car.”

        Sure, but there is wiggle room. The “Seb safety car rule” seems to be 10 car lengths…

        “it would have been an illegal driving instruction”

        Absolutely not. Just like it isn’t driving instruction to tell Kvyat to slow down to let Ricciardo through, and then tell Ricciardo to slow down to let Kvyat back in front.

  5. “Given this scenario, Hamilton and Rosberg would have been sitting ducks to a charging Ferrari.”

    Oh?
    Think. That is exactly what happened. Exact scenario, except for Lewis in the Vettel position. And we saw how that played out. If I had a crystal ball with sufficient clarity to see it unfold exactly as it did the moment I saw Lewis pull in, how is it the Merc brain trust could not? No amount of justification, explanation, parsing of the details (as here) can obscure the fundamental mistake was for anyone to think about stopping.

    I really don’t care if Lewis called for it, the team acquiesced or were complicit, or if miscues ruined the maneuver. It was ALL based on Stupidity in concept.

    If Nasr is not there, if Nico slowed, if the gap was read properly with GPS, if Lewis hit his marks perfectly, if the stop went perfectly, if the pit release was spot on, if Lewis wasn’t watching the tv and got confused, if, if, if… MAYBE Merc & Lewis MIGHT have gotten away with a STUPID move. The whole thing was stupid. Let it go.

    • Exactly right. It was stupid and it gave me a big laugh when I read about it Monday.

    • You’re missing the point:
      – Teams go by data
      – they had bad data because of the gps
      – data from FP2 told them tyre temperature could be an issue
      – according to the data, there was time
      BUT
      – they missed Nasr
      – Hamilton overshot the pits
      – the release was bad
      So they pitted. Good decision, bad execution.

      Later it became apparent that the tyres did heat up sufficiently. AND Vettel had newer tyres. So, no Hamilton didn’t have 5 or 6 seconds advantage over Vettel. But they were right to try.

      • “Hamilton overshot the pits.” By maybe .20 of his front wing! Watch the F1-supplied overhead view of the pit stop so you don’t have to continue repeating a meme that was already said to be false (check above comments for Fortis’ detailing the so-called overshot stop.

        • His front wheel was completely past the mark – by pit stop standards (Grosjean and ALonso excepted 😉 ) that’s along way.

  6. I’d like to throw this in if I may, Darren Heath’s race blog: http://www.darrenheath.com/blog/head-on-a-plate

    It includes radio conversation that wasn’t actually broadcast at the end of the race, but Darren was able to get that info because he knew people in the team. He did indeed think about going home as Vettel said.

    • Well after posting that, I just read it again and it appears darren has edited it since the last time i read it. When he first posted it, he quoted Lewis saying “I’m parking at portiers and going home”, to which Paddy Lowe replied “no you’re not. You’re coming to the podium ceremony”. It appears as though darren may have got false information and so has removed that since…. interesting.

  7. That video was surprisingly not bad wrt radio transmissions. Love the RIC “get out of my way” line (pun intended) as he shoved RAI out of the way.

  8. I’m not convinced that this changes the analysis very much at all.

    ” Are you sure it’s the best thing to stay out ? ” is a question, not an instruction.
    Of course it would make sense to change the tyres were a ‘free’ stop available. As we know, it wasn’t – or at best was utterly marginal.
    The guys on the pit-wall, the ones with the data, miscalculated.

    Understandable ? Possibly.
    Their mistake ? Definitely.

    • But take into account the pressure Lewis has put on the team over tyre strategy on a number of occasions… Plus he is now a leader in the team, as he says

      • He doesnt have to say he is the team leader, being 30 seconds ahead of the other guy in the same car at Monaco confirms who the leader is. And unlike last year when the discussion was if Nico could challenge enough on merit, the only discussion this year is if Lewis can hand over enough points to Nico by overshooting his mark/making the wrong call/pitting at the wrong time
        Apart from that its the same desperate ‘anyone but Hamilton’ crowd who are actually deriving any kind of satisfaction from this racing incident.
        Nico is still oncourse to get a bigger drubbing than he did last year, and the real story is whether he can fend Seb off in an inferior car

      • Sure, yet this doesn’t excuse the team from taking leave of their senses. Think Kimi. Kimi is a much tougher operator to deal with than Hamilton, yet when he was actively forcing the hand of Ferrari in Bahrain to give him primes because “I’m faster on primes”, his race engineer in no unclear terms told him (paraphrased) “Kimi, leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.” And the team decided to give him options because they had more data and more space to make an informed, optimal decision; and this is what Kimi got. And Kimi came close to winning that race.

        Can’t remember all such arguments being levered against Kimi then… Ferrari pits showed some spine that day, and I can’t see why anyone would blame Hamilton for the Merc pits being spineless…

        • I’m actually glad you mentioned Kimi and what happened in Bahrain. That was a perfect example of a team being assertive.

          Sure Lewis has put pressure on the team with regards to tires, which he’s suppose to do, because he’s the one who can tell how they are behaving, which is exactly what he did. In this case his only concern was the drop in temp (not in degradation) and that would make him vulnerable to those on fresh options. This could’ve all been avoided had they paid more attention to the last part of his message about Nico and Seb being on fresh options. They didn’t and from there came a catalogue of errors from everyone.

          On to Canada….

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