Lewis Hamilton was thinking about ignoring Mercedes' strategy



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Lewis Hamilton was thinking about ignoring Mercedes' strategy

Lewis Hamilton praised his team for opting for a risky strategic move and changed strategy from one to two boxing entries although he admits he was thinking at the time of ignoring their call and staying on track. Hamilton started from pole position but lost the lead in the first corner from aggressive Verstappen pushing Hamilton to the edge of the second corner while Leclerc lost his place to Bottas from outside the third corner.

Red Bull first called Verstappen into boxing in lap 24 as Mercedes left Hamilton on the track five laps longer, and although Hamilton came out about six seconds behind Verstappen a few laps he was again less than a second behind.

When they saw in Mercedes that Hamilton would not be able to overtake Verstappen, they invited him to box for the second time in the 42nd lap, and the Briton caught Verstappen with a series of fastest laps and overtook him in the fight for first place in the 60th lap.

Hamilton on his race

“It was so close at the start, there was obviously a tire on the right side of the track and Red Bull had a great start,” Hamilton said after a fifth consecutive win on this track. "Then I hunted [Verstappen] and we were very close for a long time and I didn't think I would be able to keep the tires that way until the end."

"But somehow I managed to save them. It was hard to catch up 20 seconds behind. But it was good gambling, a really great strategy. " Unlike Verstappen and Red Bull, Hamilton and Bottas had two sets of medium tires for the race while Verstappen had only hard and soft, due to a different schedule of tire use over the weekend because before the race each driver has eight sets of soft, three sets of medium and two sets of hard.

“We planned to save two sets of media all weekend so we could do two stops. Although potentially one entry into boxing looks better. I know from experience that it is very, very difficult to get through here with just one stop.

” “I think I would have had a chance to overtake him just before I entered boxing a second time. I was in doubt, would I enter or ignore the call and stay on track? I did what the team asked for and that's because there is a lot of trust between us. " "It was a great job for the whole team. What a day! ”