Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
67 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
106 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
123 days
18 Jul
Race in
141 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
214 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
239 days
31 Oct
Race in
246 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
281 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Mercedes: Offering late stop to Hamilton was "plain dumb"

Mercedes Formula 1 team technical director James Allison has called the decision to give Lewis Hamilton the opportunity to pit under the final safety car in the Brazilian Grand Prix “dumb” and a “rookie error.”

shares
comments
Mercedes: Offering late stop to Hamilton was "plain dumb"

Allison also admits that the team was wrong to put the decision in the hands of the driver himself, especially as Hamilton was given incorrect information on how many places he would lose by stopping.

Hamilton was running second behind Max Verstappen in the closing laps of the race when the clash between the Ferraris triggered a safety car. He slowed and was approaching the pit entry when his engineer Pete Bonnington twice repeated the message, “Let us know if you want tyres, you will lose one place.”

After a pause, Hamilton initially said: “'You make the decision." This, however, was followed by “I'll come in, I'll come in” just as he reached the pit entry.

In reality, Hamilton lost two places as both Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly got past him, and then when the track finally went green he had only two laps in which to make use of his fresh tyres.

Having passed Gasly he made contact with Albon, was re-passed by Gasly, and crossed the line in third place. He subsequently received a five-second penalty, dropping him further down the field.

“Having not had the shiniest of races to that point, we then just did something plain dumb, which was - we thought we were exchanging a place for fresh rubber with enough laps left to get that place back properly and then have a go for the lead," Allison explained.

“That was just factually incorrect because we were exchanging two places, we hadn't factored [in] Gasly and secondly with the amount of debris on the track, there was just a lot more laps taken up by the safety car than we'd anticipated.

"And that was just, I think, that your rookie error of a not quite quick enough car on the day and trying to stretch too far for victory. It wasn't on, we just made a mistake.”

Read Also:

Allison placed no blame on Hamilton for responding to the offer to pit for fresh tyres.

“In fact, this was entirely our fault," he insisted. "Because we saw what we thought was a fleeting opportunity. It was not at all clear to us that it was the right thing to do. But there was a possibility.

“We thought, well, let's let's give Lewis a chance to give his view, which we shouldn't have done because we didn't give him the right information. We said one place and it was two and secondly, we should have just made the call ourselves. So he uhmmed and ahhed for a second or two before diving in the pits, because he likes racing. But that was our mistake.

“I think from the moment that we made the call it was like a heart-sink moment after he emerged from the box behind Gasly and then we just were thinking: 'Why do we do that?' "

More from Brazilian GP:

Ferrari drivers escape punishment for clash

Previous article

Ferrari drivers escape punishment for clash

Next article

Sainz's Brazilian Grand Prix podium confirmed

Sainz's Brazilian Grand Prix podium confirmed
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Sub-event Race
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021