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Mercedes didn't factor Gasly when making call for Hamilton's late pit stop

  • Published on 19 Nov 2019 13:29
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes has admitted that it never factored in Pierre Gasly when it made the decision to pit Lewis Hamilton towards the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Following a collision between both Ferrari drivers, Hamilton was called in for his third pit stop of the day, which dropped him from second to fourth with two laps left to race.

Mercedes believed that it would only lose one place to Alexander Albon, however Hamilton also ended up behind Pierre Gasly.

Mercedes' technical director James Allison called the decision "plain dumb" as Hamilton was forced to challenge three cars in order to take the race win.

"Having not had the shiniest of races up 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," said Allison.

"That was just factually incorrect because we were exchanging two places - we hadn't factored 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 your rookie error of a not quite quick enough car on the day and trying to stretch too far for a victory. It wasn't on, we just made a mistake."

Hamilton made his way past Gasly rapidly, however when overtaking Alexander Albon, he made contact with the Red Bull driver.

The six-time world champion received a five-second time penalty for the clash which dropped him down to seventh place, promoting Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz to second and third respectively. 

MOREGasly emotional over 'amazing' Brazil podiumSainz in shock over 'weird' but 'special' first podium

'Mercedes to blame for mistake, not Hamilton'

Allison affirmed that the mistake was purely down to the decisions made on the Mercedes pit wall, and Hamilton had no part to play in the outcome. 

"This was entirely our fault because we saw what we thought was a fleeting opportunity," Allison said. "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 honestly, 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 'ummed and ahhed' for a second or two before diving in the pits, because he likes racing. But that was our mistake.

"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 did we do that?' So, it wasn't good."

Replies (3)

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  • Gasly wasn't promoted, he got P2 on his own, with a margin of literal meters.

    This race was at times incredibly weird, strategically speaking. They didn't factor in Gasly, as in a driver right ahead of them? Surely they figured he'd be overtaken with ease, but even then, didn't take into consideration at all? The move baffled me to begin with, and does so even more now.

    • + 0
    • Nov 19 2019 - 19:32
  • Don't get it. Gasly overtook Hamilton when he collided with Albon. This had nothing to do with the pitsstop, so Hamilton is still to blame for losing that position.

    • + 0
    • Nov 20 2019 - 07:55
    • JuJuHound

      Posts: 294

      Hammy went out from the pit behind Albon and Gasly. The strategists thought they will lose one place not two - he lost two.

      It was a schoolboy mistake. In fact he was lucky not to lose more places.

      • + 0
      • Nov 20 2019 - 12:18

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