Lewis Hamilton has questioned Mercedes’ decision not to pit him before Lando Norris after an indecisive strategy call potentially cost the seven-time world champion victory at the Untied States Grand Prix.
Hamilton was the final of the leading trio to make their first pit stop after the race settled down with Max Verstappen pulling the trigger first and Norris responding the following lap.
Instead of responding to Verstappen’s stop by trying to undercut Norris, Mercedes opted to leave Hamilton out to run long with the hopes that he could extend the stint on the medium compound tyres and then drive to the end on the hards.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, he couldn’t squeeze any more performance out of the tyres, coming into the pit lane a few laps later and leaving him over five seconds behind Verstappen, who he would later begin to hunt down.
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Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the strategy call and whether or not it cost him a victory, Hamilton said: “My guess is as good as yours.
“I think we probably should have stopped before Lando because I was within undercut position. I don’t know why we didn’t. Then after that, I came out another eight seconds behind and I had to catch up.
“It was really difficult to catch up and then I came out again another eight or 10 seconds behind. That deficit was so hard to catch up each time. So we’ve got some work to do.”
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Despite the frustrations regarding Mercedes’ strategy calls, Hamilton couldn’t help but show his excitement after fighting for a win in Texas. He continued: “But, other than that, I feel really positive with how the weekend went.
“The car was feeling much better, I really, really am grateful for the work that everyone’s put in back home because the floor was a step forward.
“We need to pick up on some of the areas. – like our pit stops were not spectacular this weekend, and strategy maybe – for hopefully in the next races. Maybe we can be closer to these guys. It’s right there, it’s just there!”
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