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Did Mercedes clip Hamilton's wings?

A Formula One Grand Prix would be uneventful if it didn't have any controversy, but the Mexican race did not disappoint.

On the track it might have proved a little uneventful up front, but over team radio it appeared anything but.

At Mercedes, the team have set up their own code of conduct to prevent controversy within the team.

The German manufacturer want to maximise the result of the team and ensure they get the best result possible, ie a one-two finish.

To this they minimise the battle between the two drivers and one way of doing this is preventing them from running different tyre strategies, for one to get an advantage over the other.

The problem with this is that it gives a massive advantage to the leading Mercedes and nullifies the threat of the second Mercedes.

In Mexico this was detrimental to Lewis Hamilton.

Plan A, was a one-stop race, start the Grand Prix on the tyres used in qualifying, run 20 laps, changes to the medium compound Pirelli and end the race.

Rosberg ran this stint perfectly, strategically he took as much track time as possible on these tyres so that Hamilton was unable to use the under-cut when he pitted one or two laps later.

This worked for the German and was perfect race management.

The potential problem for Mercedes came when Nico Rosberg had actually worn his second set of tyres down quicker than expected, this saw Mercedes revert to plan B for Rosberg and Hamilton.

If the data was accurate it was the right call by Mercedes for Nico Rosberg, but could Hamilton have finished the race without a second stop and thus won the race?

Hamilton certainly wasn't sure on the pit-stop call during the race, arguing the decision over team radio and only pitting on the second attempt after Mercedes claimed it was a safety decision.

'There was no risk, there was nothing for me to lose, We have won the Constructors' Championship, so let me take a risk, let's go for it. But we did what we did and we still got the one-two so it is good.' Hamilton told Sky Sports.

In a later Mercedes statement Hamilton added: 'At the time, I just didn't agree with the decision to pit a second time, that's all, The team takes these decisions and I abide by them but I initially wasn't sure on this one.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: 'Lewis obviously had a few questions about that and that's totally normal - race drivers have emotions and if they didn't focus on winning every time, they wouldn't be the talents they are. But we have the overview on the pit wall [higher than expected tyre wear] and Lewis followed the instruction to pit.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 4 2015

Time: 9:00AM


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