Mercedes’ initial hunch when it came to Lewis Hamilton’s pit stop at the Turkish Grand Prix has been supported by a fascinating graphic estimating what would have happened if the seven-time world champion had come in when requested. The Brit and his crew had a heated disagreement during the closing stages of the race, with pitting decisions playing a key role in the outcome as unpredictable weather in Istanbul kept teams guessing.
It was a rollercoaster weekend for Hamilton who qualified on pole before a 10-place grid penalty for fitting a new combustion engine saw him start 11th.
Carrying extra straight-line speed, he worked his way through the pack before his crew called him in for new tyres with around 20 laps to go.
In stark disagreement, the seven-time world champion stayed on for a few more laps before conceding third spot to change tyres in the closing stages.
That caused friction between himself and his team as he came home fifth, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas assuredly brought home his first win of the season.
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If he pitted along with the status quo, the graphic indicates that he would have had a great chance to overtake Sergio Perez for a podium spot towards the end.
Another graphic illustrated that Hamilton was the last car to pit for new tyres, with the exception of Esteban Ocon who was the only driver to go the whole race without pitting.
In the aftermath, Hamilton took full responsibility for his split-second call which could come back to bite him at the end of the season.
“Don’t ever expect me to be all polite and calm on the radio when I’m racing,” he said.
“We are all very passionate, and in the heat of the moment that passion can come out, as it does for all the drivers.
“My heart and spirit are out there on the track. It’s the fire in me that has got me this far.
“But any angst is quickly forgotten and we talked it through, and are already looking ahead to the next race.”
Next time out, Hamilton and Verstappen will do battle in Austin where the Brit has a fantastic record.
Split-second decisions are part of the sport, but all those at the Silver Arrows will be hoping that they get the next one right in harmony with their star driver.
The Fort News