Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Mercedes made a vital strategy error during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix which may have prevented Lewis Hamiton from scoring points, claims former driver turned pundit Karun Chandhok. Chandhok claimed it was an ‘odd decision’ to not bring Hamilton into the pits earlier as the track dried.
He claimed it was ‘worth a chance’ considering the seven-time champion was already lying outside the points. Everyone started the race on a set of the intermediate tyre but conditions soon improved with a dry line forming.
However, it appeared drivers were hesitant to make the switch to dry tyres after concerns more wet weather was on its way. Daniel Ricciardo was eventually the first one to make a stop and was followed by the majority of the field a lap later.
Posting on Twitter, Chandhok said: “Very odd decision from Mercedes not to gamble on bringing Lewis in early for slicks. Seemed totally worth a chance considering he was outside the points.”
Hamilton was running tenth before the stops but dropped back three positions moments later. This was partly because Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon had pitted for softs a lap earlier and were able to make the jump.
If Hamilton had pitted when they did it was possible he could have jumped Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda who he was battling in the opening laps. This would have put him around eighth which meant the Briton could have salvaged some points.
Esteban Ocon also passed Hamilton during the pit stops but made contact with the seven-time champion as he left his box.
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It was enough to hand the Frenchman a five-second penalty which was handed out after the race. After the race, Hamilton admitted he lost a ‘few places’ in the pitstop but claimed everything that could have gone wrong did.
He said: “This was a weekend to forget, that’s for sure. Behind Gasly, we both had DRS so it was impossible to overtake, and I lost a few places in the pit stop. This weekend, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We live and we learn, and there’s not much else to say.
“I’ll keep working as hard as I can to try and pull it back together, somehow. I hope for a better weekend in Miami, it will be difficult but I’ll try and get myself in a positive headspace for the next one.”
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