Mercedes Technical Director Explains Why Lewis Hamilton Had a Long 1st Stint in Sochi

Published 10/01/2021, 4:59 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Lewis Hamilton won his 100th race win at the Russian Grand Prix last weekend. But it was not the easiest win for Hamilton despite the result stating that he won by the margin of over 50 seconds. He was stuck in the DRS train in the first part of the race and could not showcase his true pace.

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Hamilton was behind Daniel Ricciardo and could not get past him as the McLaren driver was quick in the straights. But when Ricciardo pitted, Lewis showcased his skillset and put in some amazing laps.

WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton’s Incredible Car Collection

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Mike Elliott reveals why Lewis Hamilton came in late to pit

In their post-race debrief, Elliott mentioned that as the Mercedes driver was stuck behind Ricciardo, he could not show his true speed. He stated they knew Hamilton had a quick car throughout the weekend and needed some clean air.

“I think when you have a quick car and we knew we had a quick car from Friday’s runnings what you really want to is to be in clean air. And when you are tucked up behind another car, you can’t exploit the pace of the car. 

“So what you are trying to do with your strategy in that situation is to maximize your time running in clean air. And that meant ideally going longer with Lewis. On the basis, we hoped our competitors would fight for positions and they would pit earlier than we did.

“That would allow us to go long in clean air, but it also means when we came out after our pit stop, we would also have a chunk of clean air. So that was always going to be our strategy,” explained Elliott, the reason behind Hamilton’s long first stint.

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Coulthard believes Verstappen cannot win mind games with Mercedes driver

As reported by Planetf1, former F1 driver David Coulthard mentioned that Max Verstappen cannot win mind games against Hamilton. He also stated that the title between them will go down to the last race in Abu Dhabi.

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Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the podium with champagne after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

“I’m firmly convinced–that will continue until the end of the season in Abu Dhabi. I don’t think Verstappen can get into Lewis’ head. They both have such strong teams behind them, they know they can win races at any time.” said Coulthard.

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Hamilton is currently leading Max by just 2 points with just 7 races remaining. With remaining races likely to favor the Red Bull, it would be interesting to see how Lewis manages his title bid.

Can Lewis win his 8th title? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

445 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.

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