Lewis Hamilton lost out on a probable win at the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix after a rather controversial strategic decision by Mercedes and George Russell.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell became teammates at the start of the current season. Russell has outclassed Hamilton so far in his first season with the Silver Arrows.
For the first time in the season, however, Mercedes was looking close to a win. It seemed like Lewis Hamilton’s win drought will finally end at the Dutch Grand Prix.
However, that was not the case. After leading the race for quite a time and laps. Verstappen re-inherited the lead.
Regardless of that, Mercedes’ one-stop strategy was working just fine. Even after the triggering of a Virtual safety car both the Mercedes drivers were on a faster set of tyres just behind Verstappen closing the gap.
However, a late safety car triggered by Valtteri Bottas’ retirement put Mercedes’ strategy into shambles.
Hamilton was not happy with the team
Under safety car, Verstappen pitted for a fresh set of soft tyres. At first, Mercedes decided to keep both the drivers out on track on the old mediums to inherit the lead.
However, Hamilton was left in a total state of shock when he found that Verstappen was right behind him at the safety car restart. Russell had decided to take a call and pitted for a fresh set of soft tyres.
This left Hamilton under attack by a charging Verstappen with a fresh pair of soft tyres much like in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Regardless, of what Hamilton or F1 fans think, Russell’s call to pit turned out to be the right one. It was inevitable to keep Max Verstappen from overtaking the duo at those old mediums.
The young Briton saw it coming and decided to make the call.
After realizing the situation, Hamilton was left seething on the radio:
“I can’t believe you screwed me like that. I can’t describe how pissed I am,”
Hamilton said on the radio.
Russell finished in P2 whereas Hamilton who was struggling with his old tyres only managed a P4.
If both Hamilton and Russell had stayed out Mercedes could have probably managed a P3 and P4 at best.
So, instead of focusing on Hamilton being a crybaby, we should focus on another sharp and smart strategic call from Russell.
Now, Russell is just 13 points short of reaching P2 in the Drivers’ standings. With the newfound pace of W13, he can surely reach P2 by the end of the season.
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