“Caught Between a Rock & a Hard Place”: Mercedes F1 Clarify Lewis Hamilton-Miami GP Row

Published 05/13/2022, 6:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 6, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton before practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Lewis Hamilton has had a tough time with the safety cars off-late in Formula One. He has lost a championship last season because of the safety car and it seems that this trend has continued in 2022 as well. In the 5 races this season, Hamilton has lost out on places due to the safety car on 3 different occasions.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

most recently, this happened at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix when the safety car was deployed in the final part of the race. The 7-time world champion lost out his advantage over his teammate and finished behind him at the end.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott explained why Hamilton lost his advantage behind the safety car in Miami. Mike mentioned it was a 50-50 call and there were no right or wrong answers.

Mercedes technical director explains The Lewis Hamilton safety car row in Miami

Elliot mentioned that the 7-time world champion had Valtteri Bottas in front of him before the VSC period. He also revealed that the team was caught between a rock and a hard place and could not really react to the eventual safety car.

DIVE DEEPER

Why Do F1 Drivers Pickup Rubber?

over 1 year ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“We were caught between a rock and a hard place. The Safety Car came at completely the wrong time for Lewis. If we didn’t ‘pit’ him, he was always going to have George behind him on much newer tires. If we did pit him, he would lose track position to George and end up behind George on track,” said Elliot.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 8, 2022, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during the race REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“So there was no sort of real right answer. If you were watching on TV, you would have seen us asking Lewis that question. What did he think he wanted to do? That was just because there was no right or wrong answer and sometimes the drivers have a better feel in the car than we as engineers do looking at the data,” said the Mercedes technical director.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hamilton has been very unlucky with the safety cars this season. But it is difficult for both the driver and the team to predict when the safety car will come on the track. Now, it would be interesting to see how both the team and Lewis approach this issue going forward. It is very much possible that in the coming races Lewis can gain an advantage because of a safety car as Mercedes might strategize their next race around that.

WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Devang Chauhan

1440 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT