Hamilton fumes after strategy mistake

An extra pit stop cost Hamilton a likely podium

An extra pit stop cost Hamilton a likely podium

Lewis Hamilton performed brilliantly in the Australian Grand Prix but was clearly angry at finishing only sixth having run third earlier in the race.

Hamilton blamed the team’s decision for him to make a second stop for tyres on lap 35. That dropped him behind the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

Although he caught them at around 1.5 seconds per lap Hamilton struggled to pass Alonso. On the team radio he repeatedly asked the team about the decision to make an extra pit stop and complained that he had no grip on his last set of tyres.

Hamilton had successfully made several passes earlier in the race, beginning with a move on his team mate. He then lost several positions when most of the field pitted for tyres.

He got into a three-way battle with Massa and Ma rk Webber, first passing Massa and then trying to get by Webber at turn three. Webber ran deep into the corner and Hamilton got passed – but Massa moved ahead of the pair of them.

Hamilton got back ahead of Massa but clipped the Ferrari on his way past, damaging his front wing. He then caught Nico Rosberg.

After several attempts Hamilton got around the outside of Rosberg at the high-speed turn 11. Rosberg came back at him, but with yellow flags at the next corner due to Sebastian Vettel’s crashed Red Bull he was unable to re-pass.

Now up to third, Hamilton spent several laps behind Robert Kubica, his team took the decision to bring him in the pits for fresh tyres. Some other cars behind him had already pitted, but Kubica and the Ferraris stayed out.

After several attempts Hamilton was looking around the outside of Alonso at turn 15 when he was hit by Mark Webber.

Webber apologised to Hamilton after the race. But should the McLaren driver have been in the position in the first place?

At the end of the race it was clear the drivers who hadn’t changed tyres were lapping much slower – by up to two seconds per lap compared to drivers like Hamilton and Webber who’d taken new tyres.

If Hamilton hadn’t pitted, what state would his tyres have been in by the end of the race? While drivers like Button and Kubica had been able to preserve their tyres after their early first stop, Hamilton had given his a lot of punishment in making his way through the field.

But it’s not likely Hamilton’s tyres were in such bad shape that he wouldn’t have been able to keep the Ferraris behind.

The gamble backfired, and Hamilton clearly isn’t happy at losing a likely third and a potential second for sixth place after a great drive.

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320 comments on Hamilton fumes after strategy mistake

  1. Lee Sharp said on 28th March 2010, 12:14

    Lewis only went from 11th or 6th…..

    In that time he ruined 2 sets of tyres, the first was while he was hammering to catch up and caused the stop he needed too take and then winged about.

    The second was ruined when he caught the ferrari. Clearly its still impossible to follow a car closely in the dry as it causes epic understeer and ruins the tyres.

    For me driver of the day was either Jenson for his intelligent driving and brilliant pit stop. Or Fernando for coming from the back to finish 4th.

    • Gigantor said on 28th March 2010, 15:25

      This post shows the inconsistency of F1 fans.
      You want overtaking, but overtaking puts more wear on the tyres. Lewis shows everyone what F1 should be about, but we complain he cant manage his tyres. Yes he went through 2 sets, but he made the most(and best)overtaking manoeuvres in the whole race. Overtaking cost tyres – FACT. What is it to be? Overtake, and put on a good show, whilst using more tyres, and people say ur n idiot,or be conservative, don’t push, don’t overtake, manage ur tyres and people say you drove a “brilliant” race? F1 fans, make your mind up!!!

      • Sean said on 29th March 2010, 15:11

        Gigantor – couldn’t have put it better myself.

        I don’t even see any evidence that Lewis had hurt his first set, but in any case you’re 100% right about this.

  2. tommy said on 28th March 2010, 12:20

    What a fantastic race. Australia didn’t disappointed me.Great call from Jenson for the tyres, but for me the man of the day was KUBICA second place with Renault fifth best car on the grid RESPECT, yes I know Alonso did great to recover from the last place, and I feel sad for Sebastian Vettel. But what Kubica did with his Renault was great any single mistake defended beautiful against Lewis. Yes and I would like to see on the youtube Solid as a Rock song with Kubica too.

  3. ConcedoNulli said on 28th March 2010, 12:24

    If Hamilton had not pitted I don’t think that he would have had the capability to protect his tyres. He lost say 25s in the pitstop and would have still have finished behind Button.

    Jenson had the brain/technical savvy to do the maths to change tyres and drive at 99% to assure a well deserved win. Hamilton likes to think he is an aggressive racer but relies 100%(?) on technical backup from the pitwall. Although Lulu thinks he is Senna reincarnated but there is more to it than wearing a yellow helmet.

    It will be interesting to see the dynamics within McLaren – no doubt there will be lots more teddies thrown out of the Lulu pram.

  4. S Hughes said on 28th March 2010, 12:25

    I’d like to officially complain about this racist and offensive comment.

    • BTW – you have no problem about me calling a white guy a donkey? Another example of double standards.

      • S Hughes said on 28th March 2010, 16:12

        There is no way you don’t really understand the significance – you are being disingenuous. Typical.

        • Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 16:21

          genious, beauty and knowledge of F1 is in the eye of the beholder. I see a lot of you watched the REPLAY yes the REPLAY. Was’nt it a great race ? where were you F1 fanatics at 6am ?

          • Mouse_Nightshirt said on 28th March 2010, 19:18

            Are you assuming this because we’re only commenting now? I only went to bed after the F1 forum after an all nighter!

          • David A said on 28th March 2010, 19:30

            At 6am? In my bed watching the race on my laptop while posting on the live blog. Thanks once again to Keith and the moderators.

          • Morpheus said on 29th March 2010, 19:18

            I was watching the race live on my 42″ plasma TV and with my Samsung netbook showing me the F1.com live timimg. At the time McLaren made the call to pit Lewis I thought it was the right move. Schumacher and Webber were flying on their initial out laps and got down to laptimes unmatched in that phase of the race. It was a no brainer to pit. Blame Bridgestone for having an option tyre that can go 52 laps! Go to FIA.com’s F1 media centre and look at the race history pdf file and get informed before posting.

    • Hyoko said on 28th March 2010, 21:51

      Excuuuuse me, but racism?? As far as I can tell, race has never been mentioned here. And, of course, the fact that LH has made an @ss of himself yet again has nothing to do with his race whatsoever.

  5. nemo said on 28th March 2010, 12:27

    I think its stupid t say mclaren did anything to ‘favour’ button..

    mclaren arent THAT stupid..

    its far to early in the season to be making acusations like that..

    mclaren could of had a 1-2 so why would they ruin that to favour button..

    button took a gamble and it payed off. simple as.

    only two races down. there’s still a looooong way to go. i still got my money on hamilton finishing on top on button..

  6. Does anyone seriously believe that Mclaren would sabotage Hamiltons chances? Come on! No, he drove well but again showed his lack of class by sticking out his bottom lip as soon as things aren’t going his way. Teddies should be thrown from the pram in private. If I was Whitmarsh I’m afraid Hamiltons comment about ‘we’ll find out’ who made the tyre call would result in a severe dressing down. He needs to grow up and fast.

  7. kowalsky said on 28th March 2010, 12:29

    no penalties for webber. The new way from the stewards, using drivers to judge, it’s working. We miss you not mosley.

    • Lee Sharp said on 28th March 2010, 12:31

      If i remember rightly it was actually a Max Mosely initiative before he left power for this to happen this season.

  8. Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 12:35

    Lewis is one of the greatest in F1 but let’s face facts. With his driving style I reckon he had an even 50-50 chance of finishing with he’s tyres intact and at least he gained points in what, for me, will be a race remembered for years to come. You sure did thrill us Lewis and that’s what F1 is all about mate.
    A lot of fans think Lewis is the better driver in the team, but with their differing driving styles and of course differing circuits to race on, I think at the end of the season there will be nothing in it, as each will come into his own at different venues. Congrats lads.
    Nice one Robert, Fernando, Sebastian amongst others and Is’nt it great for all here to have witnessed a truly great race and now debate about it. It’s got tongues wagging again and that can only be good for F1.

    • PatrickL said on 28th March 2010, 13:13

      Lewis didn’t get taken off by his own driving style, but by someone else!

      • Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 13:30

        Hi there, Lewis had the chance to stay out and continue, he could have made a decision like Jenson did but he went along with Mc Claren. He must know that now and either regret not doing so, or realise the odds of himself completeing the race were against him to an extent. Either way he is good for F1 and a nice young man I reckon. Cheers for your reply, Chris.

        • Gigantor said on 28th March 2010, 15:30

          Wrong! Jenson was given the choice when to come in. It was pre-discussed between him and his engineer. He was informed of the “window”, because his “inters” had gone off, and was told to make the call of when to come in within that window.
          This is different from Lewis’s stop. He was simply called in and he thought it was a normal strategy call, as nothing had been pre-discussed btw him and his engineer or the team!

          • Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 16:10

            Yes, you are right, I know that now and thank you for posting. I guess F1 fanatics like me “jump the gun” sometimes about something we are passion about. Cant wait to see next race buddy

  9. BBQ2 said on 28th March 2010, 12:35

    What a great race, congrats to JB, impressive strategy and reading of the race, JB seems one of the most cunning and smart drivers out

    He is not smart, :-( He was just lucky. Can you imagine what pple would say had his strategy not worked out? And added to that, he made the calls.

    • Ivan said on 28th March 2010, 12:40

      I can’t believe people congratulate him on this. He was falling back on intermediates. If he didn’t gamble he would have been knocked out of top 10 soon. He did the only thing he could, pit.

  10. Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 12:39

    Lewis is still a very young man, please give him a break. He will end up being one of the greats

  11. derek said on 28th March 2010, 12:39

    Lewis is kinda pathetic.

    Jenson called his tyre change – that’s what’s called “a sense for a track.”
    If Lewis was so good that he didnt have to come and pit again, he could have called his own strategy just like Jense.

    But, hey the way he chose to do it – he’s immune. Should he have won – it would have been heralded a great drive by him. He suffered a bitter loss – well, suddenly it’s team’s fault.

    what a joke this guy is. and im not even gonna comment about his over the radio tirade. that’s so immature that i can’t believe how this guy is still in F1

    • derek said on 28th March 2010, 12:43

      also he just cannot take of the tyres, we all know that, and it was painfully evident. sometimes the way he drives seems as if he was playing on playstation, going all gung-ho on his car…

      he was sliding around the track when following kubica midway through the race, no way he would have made it to the podium on that set of tyres

      in fact, Alonso was equally aggressive as Hamilton fighting his way back from 22nd or so, and managed to hold up the tyres till the end.

  12. Wow! Such a lot of comments already.

    And such a great race.

    So we have our solution to F1 and overtaking…
    Just make the track greasy and wrong foot the teams with unpredictable weather!

    :-)

    Yesterday I noticed during Vettel’s superb Q3 run, that ultimately put him on poll, that he struck the left front wheel very hard on one of his exciting excursions over the kerbs. At the time I meant to tweet about that as I wondered if we’d see some problems for his car because of this. Actually I was expecting an early tyre / wheel problem. I have to wonder today if that had something to do with his apparent brake failure. I guess we’ll never know.

    Overall though, I feel sad for Vettel again this week. That was not deserved.

    Credit to Massa for a very good start. I had to wonder at the time if he had jump started. Apparently he simply nailed it. However, his performance behind Kubica and the fact that he requires coaching during a race from his mechanic is/was frankly pathetic. Put Rob himself in the car and see what he can do I say!!

    I feel aggravated for Alonso. Although I have to say that his comment to the team when they were on the radio telling him how close Hamilton was in the closing stages was a classic! And his last gasp defensive manoeuvre against Hamilton which ultimately wrong footed both Hamilton and Webber was great racing. Fantastic stuff.

    I don’t think Massa should have moved over for Alonso. If Alonso couldn’t get past, that’s just the way it is at this stage in the Championship. But Massa is considerably slower, and less able to deal with a challenging race than Alonso. That much is clear. But then it always was.

    Credit to Button for his tyre strategy. Great to hear he called it himself. Respect where respect is due. Congrats for a well deserved win.

    Can’t wait till next week.

  13. Awesome_race said on 28th March 2010, 12:47

    Alonso the driver of the day??? really….what a joke….Even i like alonsos style but saying that he was the driver of day is really stupid. The best driver of th day was Hamilton.He overtook the top teams but the second pitstop ruined all his hardwork. Jenson was good….but also lucky, first with the tyre choice…then with some clear air in front of him. Kubica had a great drive as well, managing to hold off the top teams…definitely deserved his 2nd.

  14. Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 12:49

    I do wonder how a lot of drivers these days need a shave and brush up. They have such nice looking women, you’d think they’d look after their appearance a lot more

  15. Britanichris said on 28th March 2010, 12:57

    Who’s going to be the first to mention diffusers ? They should be banned in my opinion. Normally during a race they get commented on regularly but not today.

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