Mercedes F1 Director Reveals the HUGE Consequence of Pitting Lewis Hamilton at Hungary Restart

Published 08/08/2021, 6:39 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Third placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates on the podium after the race REUTERS/Florion Goga


The Hungarian Grand Prix gave us one of the most unusual starts at a Grand Prix in F1 history. As Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton was the only driver on the grid to start the race after the restart.

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All the drivers behind him went in the pits to change their tires and start the race from the pit lane. Although Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff had earlier defended the team’s decision, the German team is now reasoning behind their choice to not pit Hamilton.

Lewis would have come out P5 if he had pitted after the restart: Mike Elliott

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In their post-race debrief, Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott gave the answers to why the team did not pit Hamilton after the restart. He stated the team was trying to avoid any pit lane incidents to damage their race. 

” Well, it’s quite difficult to know, as it really depends on trying to find the right gap in the pit lane to get out of your pit box. We think P5 or P6. Maybe something like that,” said Elliott on Hamilton’s position if he had pitted at the restart.

But the bigger risk for us was colliding with another car in the pit, trying to force our way out. And we would have to be conservative.” said the technical director.

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I want whatever they’re smoking at the end of this race: Lewis Hamilton

After their restart blunder, Hamilton was trying to make his way through the field. In an attempt to encourage Hamilton during the race, Toto Wolff came on the radio and said, “Lewis, you can win this.”

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing third Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga

As reported by Express.co.uk, Hamilton gave a funny answer to Wolff during the post-race press conference about the radio message. “He’s got a great heart, Toto, but with all due respect, when I got the call, I was like, I want whatever they’re smoking at the end of this race,” said Hamilton.

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“Because you guys [Ocon and Vettel] were so far ahead, and I had to make another pit stop at the same time and I was, like, impossible to catch you guys…” said Lewis.

WATCH STORY: Biggest Pitlane Mishaps Featuring Hamilton, Raikkonen & Verstappen

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Despite the result, Hamilton is leading the championship by 8 points from Max Verstappen.

Did Mercedes make a mistake by not pitting Lewis? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

335 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 Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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