Mercedes/Hamilton dither over strategy as Russell takes charge

George Russell is quickly becoming the Mercedes lead driver as Lewis Hamilton fades from his former glory. Hamilton famed for his strategy calls overruling the team simply dithered when asked how he wanted to proceed with tyre choices.

Russell was called in for a tyre change but told the team he would stay out in case there was a safety car. At the time he was ahead of Bottas and Hamilton who had stopped and holding his own on the hard tyres he chose to begin the race with.

When that safety car came, Russell pitted and surprisingly Mercedes gave him the medium tyre rather than the quicker soft tyre.

As soon as he cleared the pits, the crew came out with scrubbed soft tyres obviously for Hamilton. Given their track position, this would have given Lewis the advantage and it was strange Mercedes didn’t offer George the quicker soft tyres when he pitted a lap earlier.

Hamilton was given the opportunity to pit also under the safety car, but dithered when offered the opportunity.

Lewis for years has called his own tyre strategy and received acclaim for at times overriding the team’s decisions, but when asked did he want to pit? He replied, “you tell me”.

In that moment the opportunity to pit was lost and he remained on his worn hard tyres which obviously was the wrong strategy.

Russell passed him easily following the restart and so George is still the only driver to finish each race this season in the top 5 in an “un-drivable” car.

In his post race interviews Hamilton clearly laid all the responsibility for the tyre strategy  for  on the team. “In that scenario I have no clue where everyone is, and so when the team say it’s your choice I mean I don’t have the information to make the decision.

SO that’s what your job is [Merc strategy], make the decision for me – you’ve got all the details – I don’t. So I just rely on the guys… but today they gave it to me.

I don’t understand it. It was just a bit unfortunate under the safety car [to make a mistake].”

This has to be another blow to Hamilton’s fragile confidence as he now falls further behind his team mate… team mate results are the best marker of h fresh tyres at no track position cost.ow a driver is delivering in F1. Lewis is now 23 points behind his team mate after 5 race weekends.

Jenson Button says Lewis was ‘unlucky’, but this is disingenuous, Russell refused a team pit stop call saying he’d wait for a safety car. Hamilton conversely dithered when offered the same opportunity and missed the moment to get

For a midfield team, this points advantage Russell has over Hamilton means without a Russell DNF, it may take Hamilton half a season to catch up – but only if he begins to beat his team mate week in week out. 

12 responses to “Mercedes/Hamilton dither over strategy as Russell takes charge

  1. The golden child has thrown the steering wheel out of the cockpit. Is he a good sports person? Not in my book…..

    • He shouldve done e a nico rosberg and retire as champion..but no he thought he was better..guess what .you aint

  2. I think Lewis is still the driver he was, last years championship loss is still affecting him.
    Once he manages to put that behind him and move his mind onto this season he’ll be back

    • He’ll be back… or not. What certainly becomes visible is that he points to others when things doesn’t go his way.

      Just another theory… I noticed that Lewis struggles more at circuits that are narrow and ‘closed’. Like Jeddah and Monaco. He has less trouble on more ‘open’ circuits.

      Could that be his age?

      When aging the ‘video processor’ in our heads becomes less powerfull and has difficulties processing fast images. In Monaco-like circuits, with boardings and lots of stuff and distraction flashing by, directly next to the track, there’s a lot of processing power required to stay focussed on the track itself. When getting older, this becomes more difficult with as a result you drive slower. It’s a known phenomena that explains why elderly people drive so annoyingly slow. Things are just going to fast for them. Of course one could state that Alonso en Vettel do not show this effect and perform equally on all circuits. But then again, every person is different.

      Prove of the pudding will be Monaco in 3 weeks…My prediction is that Lewis will again struggle more than ususal there.

  3. Lewis was unlucky…I am sure that is what all his fans are gonna say…but this is disingenuous to the team and Russell’s garage team and strategy…you pays your money….moaning publically and working to rule is not an endearing trait…Lewis needs media training and to keep it all in his pants…what a spoilt old man…
    I can’t wait for Totos apology and Monaco…where I am sure Lewis will shine again in his inimitable way..!

  4. Dickey I recall many drivers who got older reflecting on how the track looked different from when they were younger. That old fear if dying. Same goes for ourselves when it comes to danger. Our driving does not seem the same etc. As for amusement arcades and the rides, well I lost my bottle when I turned 40 lol. Yesterday I watched the whole race and recall Russel stating that he might stay out for a safety car. The pit ask e Hamilton and he asked would he lose any position. They said yes so he seen no point in going in. I see some on here saying that he can’t drive. Yet you don’t become 7 times world champion, even in the fastest car if you can’t drive. Mentally I believe he has a block and it may not leave him unless the car becomes faster and he can prove your s worth. Deep do n I believe he wants revenge for last season and Masi. But without the car he can’t do it. And then we will have ones saying he was only champion because if the fast car. Well I wonder who can name me a champion in a slo car. Vettel 4 times with fast car 7 times Schumacher fast car and Verstappen last year with fastest car. This year he has the fastest car and his team mate seems to struggle. Is that because they have made his car slower? Nope it’s because only champions can drive a fast car. But it seems that some who dislike Hamilton will only say he had a fast car and ignore that his team mate and drivers like Vettel, max only win for the same reason.

  5. Dickey plus you say Alonso and Vettel drive equally as fast, but they are seldom in front of Hamilton in these races. Vettel is 3 years young Alonso 3 older. And Alonso has not done much in years also teams and drivers have different strategies and from r Lewis used to driving a fast car all the time. His head maybe still thinks he is still in one. And sticks with the fast ca tactics. While russ l has probably never had a car as fast and gives it all. Seems that the media have Hamilton every week even when he loves ses but seem to ignore the winners. And no mention of Vettel, Leclerc team mate behind them. Strange how they can’t s ll F1 without Hamilton

  6. He conceded last seasons outcome with greater dignity than I could have in the circumstances.

    Just because he has won as many as Schumacher (in some ways more) doesn’t make him the GOAT in many peoples eyes.

    Just a very good driver who was fortunate to get in the best car.

    I thought the end of last season was the time to call it a day.

  7. I suspect Lewis has been getting superior treatment for some reason, this year he has a real team mate this was proven when he outshone Bottas , so last year he only featured when he had new so called spicy engines ,he cannot stick with Max and as the season progresses I don’t think he will against the new guy, possibly age and could be he does not feel the need to take chances, I am not sure about best of best in F1 ,but in last few years would not rate him at top , the younger guys seem to outbrake and corner him , his ability to save tyres and attack with superior grip was his strong point .

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