Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said that he could not understand why the team was asking him to make a decision over whether he should pit during the Safety Car period at the Miami Grand Prix.
The Briton finished 6th in Miami – the place where he started – in what for him ended up being a pretty uneventful Grand Prix.
He had a battle with former team-mate Valtteri Bottas, before his current team-mate, George Russell, would eventually overtake him after running long and gambling on a Safety Car period, which allowed him to get a cheap stop for fresh tyres and in due course take P5 – with Bottas slipping down to P7 after a mistake.
And, during the Safety Car period with the last 10 or so laps to go, Hamilton and race engineer Pete Bonnington were heard having a conversation over whether the 7-time champ should also pit for fresh tyres and then attack the closing stages, or whether he should stay out and just try and see the race through.
‘Bono’ asked Hamilton what he wanted to do but Lewis said that he wanted the team to make the call, with him expanding on that conversation after the Grand Prix, as he said he didn’t understand why the team was asking him to make the decision:
“In that scenario I have no clue where everyone is so when the team say it’s your choice, I don’t have the information to make the decision,” he said to Sky Sports post-race.
“That’s what your job is, make the decision for me. You have all the details. I don’t!
“That’s what you rely on the guys for, but today they gave it to me and I didn’t understand it.
“It was just a bit unfortunate on the safety car but at least we got points today. We are finishing and reliability is good. We just have to keep trying.
“I’m excited at some stage to take a step forward, which we haven’t yet.”
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 07: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
In the past, in fairness to Mercedes, we have seen Lewis make such calls to great effect and so they were obviously eager to hear their drivers’ input before making any decision.
On this occasion, though, Lewis felt as though he had no information on which to make a good call, and in the end he stayed out in a bid to keep track position.
Russell would overtake him, but no-one else got by and so it was P6 in the end for Hamilton.
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