Another day, another take on the Turkish saga of Lewis Hamilton’s pit stops. James Allison sheds light on the matter, admitting that Hamilton’s lap times were starting to worsen, necessitating a late pit stop.
Mercedes CTO Allison was speaking in Mercedes’ race debriefing video on their YouTube channel, where he said analyzing the incident in retrospect, ultimately pitting Hamilton against when the team did, would have maybe it was too late.
“As always with strategy, at the end of the race it’s always obvious… what would have been the perfect lap [to pit on] Said Allison.
“However, if we look globally, the best time to stop would have been around the [Lap] 36, 37 mark, that was when Valtteri [Bottas, who eventually won the race] and Verstappen stopped.
“If Lewis had done the same, then treated his tires nicely and smoothly, he would have probably finished fourth and maybe could have put the pressure on. [Sergio] Perez for the third and maybe overtake him. It would have been optimal, ”he explained.
“We didn’t do that,” Allison lamented. “We stayed longer than that hoping the track would get dry, kinda hoping the tires would last… and we would get the third easiest place to offer at the time just by inheriting it from those who did. a pit stop.
But the reality was different because the track was never dry enough for the slick tires to work, and Mercedes was looking to limit the damage.
Allison reflected and said, “By the time we realized we should have made this stop at that point and were looking to cut our losses, it was around lap 41 – and that too would have been nice, it would have been a fourth – kind of stopping place. In the end, we pushed a little longer than that, another nine laps with the tires deteriorating all the time. “
Then added: “When we finally called Lewis it was because the lap times chart that we use to make our predictions was telling us that it didn’t look good to hang on at the end of the race – that the pace of the car by then would be poor enough that … we were looking at something that was somewhere in the seventh, eighth place region, depending on how the tires were gradually degrading.
According to Allison, Hamilton’s intermediate tires could have survived the whole race: “Yes, in all likelihood we would have reached the end of the race with only one set of tires, capable of moving without difficulty,” he said. admitted.
“Ocon did it for example, and our car generally performs better than most of our competition. So yes, we would have come to the end of the race.
But Merecedes’ technical guru doubted Hamilton’s ability to maintain a decent pace in these final laps: “The question is, how fast would we have been? And the evidence there is pretty clear: we would have been very slow.
“The tire was using its rubber throughout the race and towards the end, as the track approached dry but never quite got there, that wear accelerated.
“And Lewis’s lap times were starting to deteriorate lap after lap. And even if he would have reached the end of the race, the pace would have been pretty dismal by the time he got there, ”concluded Allison.
In just over a week, the United States Grand Prix in Austin, TX will be Hamilton’s 173rd race as a Mercedes driver, as he edges title rival Max Verstappen by 6 points. in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship after his fifth place. at the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.