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Mercedes originally decided against extra pit stop for Hamilton

In the round-up: Mercedes technical director James Allison said the team originally decided not to pit Lewis Hamilton in an attempt to set fastest lap at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

What they say

Allison said that before the race began Mercedes didn’t intend to make an extra pit stop to chase the fastest lap bonus point.

It was something that sort of evolved a little. At one stage, we were thinking we had a very comfortable free stop with Lewis and we could take that as an opportunity to put him on fresh rubber with no threat from behind with maybe 10, 11 laps to go or even a little earlier because that would mean if there were any sort of Safety Car we would be on fat tyres that would restart easily on-track. It just felt like a good way of insulating Lewis from any of the sort of hits that can take a leader down.

But once we started chatting about it and and putting the idea to Lewis and a lap or two dribbled by, it wound up then being sufficiently short number of laps at the end that you could pop a soft on instead of a hard. And at that point, with the soft on everyone’s thoughts turn to fastest lap instead of just protecting against the Safety Car thing. And then we find ourselves going for a fastest lap.

Which we sort of talked ourselves out of before the race started but then found ourselves funnelled into that way of thinking, not necessarily in perhaps as organised a fashion as we might have like.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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On this day in F1

Start, Silverstone, 1985 British Grand Prix
Start, Silverstone, 1985 British Grand Prix
  • 35 years ago today Alain Prost won the British Grand Prix after the chequered flag was accidentally shown a lap early at Silverstone




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