“Heroic Assumptions” – Mercedes F1 Director Allison Responds to Lewis Hamilton Pit Stop Saga at Turkish GP

Published 10/14/2021, 6:35 AM EDT
SOCHI, RUSSIA – James Allison, Technical Director at Mercedes GP walks in the Paddock during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Lewis Hamilton had an eventful Turkish Grand Prix, from setting the fastest lap in qualifying to receiving a grid penalty. However, the talking point of his race in Istanbul was his botched pit stop strategy.

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The Knight came in for a late pit stop which ruined his chances of featuring on the podium or potentially winning the race. Mercedes’ director, James Allison, explained what went wrong in Turkey, and why they called him in so late.

Allison dives deep and explains the decision to bring in Lewis Hamilton

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The seven-time world champion started the race in eleventh place and soon found himself in fifth. Additionally, Lewis wanted to stay out as he thought he could get a good result, but the Silver Arrows called him as they thought they would get a mediocre outcome.

In the debrief video, Allison said, “When we eventually did call Lewis in, it was because the lap time chart that we used to make our predictions was telling us that it was not looking good for hanging on to the end of the race.”

“That the car’s pace by then would be sufficiently poor that he wouldn’t hang on to the place that he was holding at the time. And we were looking at something that was somewhere in the region of seventh, eighth based on the way which the tires were progressively degrading.”

“Now, if you gave some fairly heroic assumptions about what the tires would do from lap where we did eventually come in, lap 51. If you said from that lap forward they would suffer no damage as a result of the remaining laps in the race then you could just about convince yourself that Lewis would have come fourth rather than fifth,” he concluded.

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A disappointing race for the Knight

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The seven-time world champion had a severe challenge to overcome as he was given a 10-place grid penalty. Nevertheless, Hamilton conquered those challenges by coming fifth.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 10, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the race REUTERS/Murad Sezer

However, his arch-rival, Max Verstappen achieved a better result by coming second and regained the lead in the title race, pushing Lewis down in the championship standings.

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Now, with the upcoming United States Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver will aim to bounce back and claim the top spot in the standings once again this season.

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Arpit Gomes

932 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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