Lewis Hamilton explained communication with the team ahead of the relaunch of the Hungarian GP when he was the only one left on the track on intermediate tires, and Mercedes says that decision seemed right to them at the time.
Hamilton managed to avoid chaos at the start of the race in Hungary, unlike several drivers behind him including Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Perez and was in first place ahead of the restart. But after Hamilton did not enter the box for dry tires in the warm-up lap, all the other drivers did so, so the Briton was alone at the start while the red lights went out.
Mercedes invited Hamilton to box at the end of the first lap so the world champion returned to the last place. “It’s definitely going to be dry and fast,” Hamilton told the team in the formation lap. “We all started on intermediate tires and during the formation lap I gave the information to the team.
It was dry enough in all the corners and I kept telling them ‘it’s dry, dry, dry, dry’, but they told me to stay on the track. "I do not understand. But I’m sure it was our fault. But we win and lose as a team and together we will bear the burden of mistakes and continue to fight.
” "The team did a great job with strategy and boxing stops and I had to make sure we succeed on the track." "It was hard the whole race and we struggled a lot with the tire temperatures, but I enjoyed it nonetheless."
Wolff and Shovlin about the decision
Team boss Toto Wolff says they made the right decision at the time and no one on the team would have done otherwise. “Honestly, I think we did the absolutely right thing,” Wolff said.
"There is no one on the team who would do otherwise. As a leader in the race, it is always difficult to make a decision. ” "It simply came to our notice then. I absolutely stand by the decision to stay on track and that’s why I’m fine with that.
I think we could have gambled like a leading car and entered boxing, but it could have turned out to be catastrophic. ” "If it had happened, people would have said again that we were wrong. That was the right decision.
" Head of track operations Andrew Shovlin also agrees that Mercedes had a tough decision and that they didn’t want to gamble from a leading position, especially since other cars wouldn’t be able to start from their place in the box because of the position they are in.
“Given the position we were in at the restart, we didn’t want to gamble on dry tires, but we were surprised when everyone left boxing on intermediate tires,” Shovlin said.