Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2015

Why Mercedes left Hamilton out for an extra lap

2015 Austrian Grand Prix lap chartsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2015Lewis Hamilton’s best chance to reclaim the lead he lost to Nico Rosberg during the Austrian Grand Prix came when they made their single pit stops during the middle of the race.

But Hamilton was disappointed when he returned to the track after his pit stop and saw Rosberg was even further up the road.

“How did he get so far ahead?” questioned Hamilton on the radio. “That tyre’s faster, mate, straight out of the box,” race engineer Peter Bonnington answered.

This is the familiar phenomenon of the ‘undercut’ where the first driver onto a fresher set of tyres gets a performance advantage. Given that, Hamilton was also surprised to have been left out for an extra lap after Rosberg’s pit stop.

“What’s the reason you didn’t pit me?,” Hamilton asked next. Bonnington’s reply was that Felipe Massa was “trafficking Nico but boxed just before he caught him”.

The race chart below sheds more light on the situation. Rosberg had come out of the pits behind Massa’s third-placed Williams and would have caught him, potentially losing time. It therefore made sense to keep Hamilton out.

But Massa headed for the pits on the very next lap – as he did so, Rosberg reached the finishing line first, and so he did not officially spend a lap behind the Williams. The upshot was Hamilton, who had reduced Rosberg’s lead from four seconds to less than three before they pitted, was over four-and-a-half seconds behind after they pitted.

Hamilton hasn’t had much luck when trying to ‘overcut’ Rosberg in the past. The team tried to do the same in Brazil last year but Hamilton spun on his in-lap and, like to day, had to settle for second.

However on this occasion it may not have made a difference: Hamilton crossed the pit lane exit line as he returned to the pits, earning a five-second time penalty. Even if he had left the pits in front of Rosberg, he would have had to pull five seconds clear of his team mate in order to win the race.

2015 Austrian Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2015drivercolours.csv

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Lewis Hamilton 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Nico Rosberg 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Sebastian Vettel 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Felipe Massa 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Nico Hulkenberg 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Valtteri Bottas 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Max Verstappen 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8
Felipe Nasr 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 10 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 12 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
Romain Grosjean 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 14 14 12 12 12 12 12 11 11 11 11 13
Pastor Maldonado 10 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 11 10 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 8 12 11 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7
Marcus Ericsson 11 14 14 17 16 16 16 16 16 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 15 14 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13
Carlos Sainz Jnr 12 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 9 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 15
Sergio Perez 13 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 8 7 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 7 12 12 12 12 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Kimi Raikkonen 14
Daniil Kvyat 15 13 17 15 15 15 15 15 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 13 12 11 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 12 11 11 11 10 9 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
Roberto Merhi 16 15 13 13 13 13 13 14 15 16 16 16 16 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 16 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
Will Stevens 17 18
Daniel Ricciardo 18 16 15 14 14 14 14 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 12 11 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Fernando Alonso 19
Jenson Button 20 17 16 16 17 17 17 17 17

2015 Austrian Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2015drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Lewis Hamilton 0.865 1.929 1.305 0.956 0.805 0.673 1.506 1.573 1.978 2.321 2.406 2.13 2.007 1.902 1.843 1.719 1.806 1.839 1.983 2.401 2.614 2.875 2.914 4.071 4.287 3.996 3.841 3.547 3.226 3.238 2.761 2.21 0 0 0 5.937 4.604 5.323 5.454 5.647 5.925 6.348 6.126 6.471 6.789 7.033 7.016 6.564 6.747 6.498 6.424 6.509 6.307 6.208 6.066 5.991 6.477 6.399 6.373 6.084 5.688 5.199 5.055 5.414 5.282 4.985 4.649 4.547 4.238 2.245 3.8
Nico Rosberg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.044 19.202 14.473 1.638 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sebastian Vettel 2.45 3.026 2.289 2.336 2.191 1.297 2.913 3.572 4.362 4.839 5.493 5.806 6.138 6.4 6.924 7.191 7.548 7.893 8.238 8.922 9.614 10.16 10.46 11.259 11.814 11.988 12.166 12.294 12.448 12.578 12.409 12.41 10.275 10.611 7.541 0 26.2 26.809 26.958 26.883 26.631 26.464 25.978 25.486 25.614 25.58 25.636 25.413 25.911 25.489 24.72 24.718 24.665 24.672 24.629 24.439 24.327 24.062 24.089 24.005 23.744 23.323 22.927 22.538 22.248 21.732 21.742 21.378 20.63 18.587 18.181
Felipe Massa 3.475 4.198 3.095 3.217 2.997 1.742 3.837 4.646 5.669 6.508 7.379 7.813 8.454 8.985 9.379 10.029 10.476 10.934 11.617 12.416 13.213 14.05 14.425 15.057 15.902 15.732 16.304 16.526 16.883 17.461 17.724 18.21 16.864 21.473 36.074 23.779 22.265 22.561 22.859 22.652 22.504 22.352 22.03 22.008 22.404 22.522 22.935 22.922 23.185 23.073 22.371 22.544 22.563 22.254 22.531 22.399 22.417 22.1 22.262 22.284 22.621 22.271 22.03 21.735 21.541 21.244 21.282 20.867 19.99 17.936 17.573
Nico Hulkenberg 5.065 5.019 4.392 4.051 4.247 2.111 4.302 5.293 6.637 7.743 8.889 9.601 10.436 11.472 12.251 12.94 14.041 15.091 16.094 17.07 18.307 19.617 20.9 22.528 28.021 44.715 44.836 44.604 44.696 44.701 44.551 44.46 42.527 43.74 42.261 32.247 33.086 34.489 36.186 37.302 38.415 39.88 40.647 41.533 42.92 44.264 45.347 46.242 47.576 48.223 48.452 49.742 50.732 51.535 52.6 54.094 55.355 56.681 57.744 58.675 59.415 59.709 60.261 61.071 61.969 62.309 62.638 63.442 63.874 62.775 64.075
Valtteri Bottas 6.755 7.818 6.256 6.859 5.886 2.737 5.546 7.216 8.186 9.247 10.693 11.622 12.405 13.444 14.485 15.099 16.056 16.961 18.114 19.024 20.183 21.025 21.979 23.146 23.599 26.533 45.834 45.986 46.199 45.997 45.702 45.376 43.266 44.112 41.546 31.658 31.404 34.023 35.452 36.224 37.265 38.016 38.551 39.066 40.513 42.161 42.91 43.325 44.026 44.05 43.855 44.293 44.609 45.508 46.119 46.607 47.327 47.769 48.564 49.254 49.872 50.069 50.591 51.432 52.31 52.724 52.987 53.783 54.105 52.687 53.604
Max Verstappen 5.929 6.348 5.516 6.236 4.928 2.44 4.889 6.145 7.3 8.523 9.613 10.605 11.579 12.824 15.386 16.626 18.001 19.026 20.672 22.23 23.469 24.772 26.082 27.895 29.405 33.434 53.112 54.134 54.988 55.495 55.534 55.587 53.716 54.461 51.695 40.428 40.099 42.056 43.384 44.582 45.67 46.885 47.778 48.882 50.513 51.965 53.008 53.972 55.208 55.672 56.427 57.446 58.195 59.171 60.039 60.827 61.688 62.467 63.756 65.027 65.891 66.138 66.53 66.951 67.689 68.825 69.834 70.784 74.582 74.695
Felipe Nasr 7.94 8.961 7.118 8.684 7.181 2.938 5.981 7.99 9.488 11.141 13.077 14.097 15.202 16.275 17.635 18.829 20.539 21.917 23.367 24.812 26.389 27.964 29.471 36.089 56.677 58.467 59.396 60.061 60.901 61.32 61.723 62.348 61.039 62.489 60.436 49.978 50.173 52.803 55.291 57.922 59.995 61.85 63.249 64.655 66.82 70.019 73.153 74.932 76.909 78.619 80.743 82.678 83.84 84.914 86.422 87.699 89.082 90.254 91.672 94.344 97.826 99.157 100.696 102.429 104.73 106.463 108.418 110.524 111.731 112.796
Romain Grosjean 9.837 11.432 10.22 11.553 9.116 3.604 7.749 9.689 11.953 13.475 15.514 17.483 19.095 20.179 21.488 22.895 24.715 26.073 27.674 29.137 30.638 32.116 36.778 56.131 57.144 57.338 57.607 57.69 58.008 58.124 58.304 58.718 56.665 57.003 83.357
Pastor Maldonado 11.729 12.773 11.763 13.311 11.395 4.3 8.21 10.537 12.799 14.878 16.958 18.517 20.055 21.184 22.506 23.775 25.273 27.022 28.552 30.329 31.786 33.151 34.617 36.263 38.039 38.719 39.763 40.464 41.378 41.964 42.583 43.07 42.026 43.151 41.245 31.454 35.507 53.847 55.58 55.64 56.02 56.483 57.034 57.651 59.41 60.153 60.688 61.131 62.964 63.656 63.315 63.774 63.987 64.099 64.377 64.449 64.577 64.432 65.192 65.661 66.487 66.679 67.147 68.055 68.349 69.421 70.56 71.025 74.556 73.802
Marcus Ericsson 12.811 13.814 16.11 17.837 15.95 6.52 10.451 14.699 18.307 21.667 24.63 31.287 46.655 48.885 51.099 53.219 55.254 57.468 60.259 84.795 90.174 92.58 96.798 99.239 101.265 103.383 105.047 106.662 108.109 109.306 110.472 111.501 111.509 114.466 112.928 102.794 103.111 104.992 106.984 108.897 112.778 114.862 116.687 132.27 139.588 160.974 162.434 162.939 164.207 165.94 167.796 170.134 170.884 171.443 172.243 172.943 174.073 175.212 176.267 177.563 178.732 179.444 180.563 181.879 183.33 184.374 185.85 187.62 191.298
Carlos Sainz Jnr 9.296 9.532 8.267 10.657 8.052 3.315 6.631 8.564 10.286 11.721 13.727 15.014 16.355 17.65 18.979 20.329 21.75 22.941 24.55 26.307 27.556 28.86 30.357 32.744 37.118 61.076 61.667 61.953 62.664 68.966 78.684 87.781 96.55 106.418 121.215
Sergio Perez 10.994 12.214 11.098 12.084 10.444 3.987 7.439 9.385 11.276 13.116 15.098 16.624 18.239 19.669 21.119 22.57 24.24 25.766 27.193 28.706 30.21 31.609 33.075 35.061 36.657 37.328 38.399 39.312 40.228 40.765 41.65 42.303 40.955 42.198 40.901 30.428 30.674 36.778 60.751 61.173 61.594 63.175 64.11 65.227 67.157 68.617 69.545 70.08 71.091 73.277 73.666 74.626 75.055 75.633 76.538 77.395 80.52 80.967 82.034 82.842 83.577 83.953 85.073 86.367 87.683 88.647 89.36 89.759 90.024 88.975
Kimi Raikkonen
Daniil Kvyat 12.252 17.449 14.979 16.384 14.705 5.452 9.809 12.491 15.148 17.517 20.784 23.17 25.593 27.583 29.462 31.623 34.335 36.429 38.6 40.565 42.445 44.388 46.188 48.189 49.908 50.774 52.695 53.785 56.201 57.598 59.797 61.084 60.172 61.822 59.498 48.716 49.401 52.194 54.646 58.4 60.689 62.958 65.567 67.518 74.239 93.966 96.523 98.405 99.226 99.626 99.776 100.291 100.67 100.985 101.785 102.434 103.374 104.039 105.013 106.252 107.311 108.16 109.202 110.804 112.77 114.055 115.191 116.044 116.839 119.366
Roberto Merhi 13.407 13.344 12.409 13.88 12.18 4.911 9.583 13.861 19.569 24.089 28.561 32.596 37.61 41.238 45.019 48.732 52.167 55.684 59.337 64.518 68.171 71.822 77.232 81.148 84.629 88.681 92.752 95.909 99.05 102.097 105.452 109.684 111.143 119.313 140.01 131.233 132.914 136.401 140.3 143.191 147.578 151.767 154.986 158.335 162.343 165.698 172.262 175.223 178.645 181.311 184.854 188.631 193.017 196.165 200.921 204.314 209.774 212.783 217.742 222.658 226.25 229.339 234.136 239.573 244.018 247.056 249.842 252.753
Will Stevens 16.857
Daniel Ricciardo 14.889 15.442 13.973 15.494 13.269 5.015 8.902 11.396 13.866 16.276 18.495 20.449 22.387 24.464 26.363 28.085 30.202 32.134 34.17 36.132 37.932 39.888 41.645 43.778 45.276 46.208 47.598 48.575 49.821 50.807 51.657 52.411 51.096 52.271 49.819 39.017 39.347 41.591 44.23 46.212 47.908 49.605 51.053 52.779 55.045 56.835 58.52 60.196 62.664 68.523 92.252 92.446 92.114 91.892 91.875 91.801 91.849 91.757 92.281 92.881 92.876 92.319 96.065 96.149 96.229 96.051 95.556 95.122 94.247 92.019
Fernando Alonso
Jenson Button 15.776 16.667 15.244 18.767 17.338 9.694 37.291 82.717

2015 Austrian Grand Prix

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18 comments on “Why Mercedes left Hamilton out for an extra lap”

  1. Why was Ericsson so bad? He should probably compete in Manor championship.

    1. He had a drive-through for jumping the start and had to do CTRL+ALT DEL on the pit straight.

  2. It seems Mercedes aren’t so forgiving to Lewis when the tables are turned.

  3. Mr win or lose
    21st June 2015, 17:19

    After 5 years of Pirelli tyres Hamilton is still unaware of the fact that fresh tyres have more grip than used tyres.

    The main advantage of an ‘overcut’ is to have better tyres at the end of the race. As Mercedes pits the first driver first, the only way for Hamilton to beat Rosberg was to pit significantly later and hope that his performance advantage would be big enough to close the gap and attack at the end of the race.

    1. You should apply for a job at Merc.

    2. The tires don’t always switch on right away, sometimes they take 2-3 laps to get up to full temperature.

    3. You don’t think a two time world champion knows that ???
      It was the team who made him stay out, he didn’t have the choice of the undercut.

      1. Mr win or lose
        21st June 2015, 21:01

        That’s why I was surprised that he was surprised…
        Mercedes never allows their 2nd-placed driver to undercut his teammate, so Hamilton was always going to stay out longer, but that doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.

        1. Lewis always thinks everyone is against him – he has the biggest victim mentality since Senna

          1. this… a thousand times this.

          2. Agreed, with a minor clarification that it seemed Senna actually did have people out to get him.

        2. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
          22nd June 2015, 14:29

          I don’t think you understand. They made him stay out an extra lap which is “not” normal, hence him seeking clarification as to why? This has nothing to do with a victim mentality, it is a reasonable question to ask, as he would have had no idea why they were doing it. Furthermore he lost time to Rosberg because of it, hence it was the wrong move – even more reason for him to question it.

          They explained that they did it, because they thought he would be quicker on the older tyres whilst Rosberg would loose time behind Massa, who had yet to pit. Massa then pitted causing Rosberg to loose no time and, thus Hamilton lost more time comparatively. Staying out 1 more lap (not normal procedure) ended up being a “significant” disadvantage for Hamilton

  4. Who’s saying Hamilton should have got the undercut? Nobody. The question is why wasn’t Hamilton pitted the lap after Rosberg when it was clear to see the softs were switching on immediately, the Massa excuse doesnt make sense at all and seems very fishy indeed to me…

    1. Ah come on, just stop it, conspiracies are just plain silly.

  5. I perfectly know that Hamilton is by far the most popular driver from the current ones, and by that there is the need of the media to center their attentions on him.. However, what I don´t understand is why there must be always some kind of excuse to why he loses or to why things go wrong?

    The incredible amount of topics about Hamilton anytime he loses, or when anything happens to him is just overwhelming.. Even Rosberg´s “day” – today or even in spain – seem to be obfuscated by anything related to Hamilton that in some way goes as an excuse for a bad result..

    He is good, real good, however it seems everyone wants to make him even better, seasoning any kind of race event with anytime he goes for a bad result..

    I have a bad opinion of such thing, because it seems that Rosberg´s results come not by his own merit, and were only possible by a bad performance from Hamilton, using any kind of excuse to such..

  6. No excuses given but give the man a fair shot at the win, pitting him 2 laps later instead of the usual one blew his only chance at getting past Rosberg, I wouldn’t be happy with the team at all if I was Hamilton.

    1. It is the same story when HAM is out front and ROS is whinging about anything to get him ahead. The simple answer is that with the current spec of F1, once a car is out front it is impossible to catch the same car on virtually the same strategy (give or take a few laps for a pitstop). Merc gave HAM the only chance he had, but Massa pitted so he really had no chance. And- if somehow it did work out that he got in front of ROS, his penalty would surely have put him back behind afterward anyway.

    2. I saw Massa too and i thought “Hey Rosberg may lose time behind that guy” the same as Hamilton’s engineer.
      In the end Massa pitted and Rosberg got a little lucky on that, but that is racing.
      Even if Hamilton went in the pits only after one lap Rosberg will probably still be ahead so betting on Massa was probably the best chance he could have.
      So i do not believe the team didn’t try to give him a chance to fight. In general. Rosberg seem to had found a better set-up for his car or maybe Austria suits him better or something but except that qualy lap Hamilton didn’t seem to have his usual speed compared to Rosberg.
      I’m a Ham fan but what is fair is fair.

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