Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
Race in
19 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 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.”

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:

shares
comments
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
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021