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Hamilton questions Mercedes tyre strategy

The F1 season is over, but the 2015 Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton has not ended the season on a high.

Instead team-mate Nico Rosberg will be the driver looking to take all the momentum from the end-of-the-season into 2016.

The German has dominated in qualifying and for the first time in his entire career has won three consecutive Grand Prix.

Hamilton has felt that he has been racing with his hands tied during the final races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

All three circuits haven't offered Hamilton the chance to beat Rosberg in a straight fight and Mercedes have denied Hamilton to gamble on tyre strategy to try and beat Rosberg via that route.

In Abu Dhabi, Rosberg made his final pit-stop and Hamilton had the gap down to 1.3 seconds.

Hamilton probably would have pitted and come out behind Rosberg if he pitted the immediate lap later, but there was the chance that perhaps with some 'Hammer-Time' or a bit of luck, the Brit could have got past.

Instead Hamilton was told to stay out and stretch his stint, after going ten laps further than Rosberg, Hamilton was losing around a second a lap to his team-mate.

Hamilton asked his team if he could make his tyres last and go one pit-stop less than Rosberg; 'If I back off now and look after these tyres to the end, how much time would I need to slow?' he asked over team radio.

His engineer however told Hamilton it would be impossible and even when pressed by Hamilton, he refused to even consider it.

The only other option would have been to try the super-soft tyres to the end, something that Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel opted for when pitting two laps earlier.

But Mercedes opted to not split the strategy between their two drivers and Hamilton was given the same tyres as Rosberg.

By the time Hamilton emerged from his pit-stop the gap between him and Rosberg had extended from 1.3 seconds to 12.5 seconds.

'You have to rely on the engineers to give you the optimum strategy at that point, Honestly I don't really understand it, I came out 11 seconds [further] behind and had a mountain to climb and then the tyres went off.' Hamilton told Sky Sports.

'I let the team make the call as I didn't know what was the right one [soft or super-soft].'

'The gap was way too big, we left it too big, particularly on the same tyres there is no way you are going to be able to catch that gap up, It is a shame because I was quicker in the middle stint so to have that pace and then come out 11 seconds behind is not a good feeling.'


Will Hamilton feel left out in the cold by his team during the winter?








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 1 2015

Time: 10:00AM

 

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