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Lewis Hamilton

Brawn backs Mercedes over Hamilton pit call: It could have been a disaster

Ross Brawn can understand the dilemma faced by Mercedes over when to pit Lewis Hamilton in the Turkish Grand Prix, but believes that the team made the right call.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Ross Brawn believes that Mercedes were right to pit Lewis Hamilton in the latter stages of the Turkish Grand Prix, despite the driver questioning the decision.

Hamilton was running in third place when the team first suggested he make a pit-stop for a new set of Intermediate tyres, but the Briton argued that it would be better to stay out. After continued discussion over the radio, Hamilton eventually followed the advice and pitted.

However, this put the seven-time World Champion down to fifth, resulting in him criticising the decision. Hamilton later explained on social media, though, that it was incorrect to suggest he was "furious" with the team.

The dilemma has remained a key talking point from the race, and Brawn thinks that Mercedes made the right call given what could have potentially gone wrong if Hamilton had stayed out.

"Once again, teams were faced with a very difficult strategic decision," Brawn wrote in his column for Formula1.com. "In these scenarios, you're trusting your judgment, experience and feel.

"As we saw with Lewis, there was a fair bit of initial resistance from within the car about pitting. When these situations are not clear-cut and you get a push back from the driver, it's easy for a team to back off what they feel was the right decision.

"The driver is in a bubble. They need to give you information, but what they can't see is all the data being fed to the pit wall.

"In Lewis' case, if he didn't box and the tyres had gone away, or there had been a light rain shower, he would have tumbled down the order and that would have been a disaster."

Brawn believes that the issue of whether or not to pit gave an added element of intrigue to the race, with others, including Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, facing the same problem.

"It was a fascinating and engaging race," Formula 1's Managing Director said.

"While it didn't have a huge amount of spectacular action, there was a nice developing and evolving feel to it, especially towards the end with the dilemma of whether to stay out on one set of tyres or come in. It caught a few of the teams out."

In our latest RacingNews365.com video, we take a look at how grid penalties could be a crucial factor in the intense title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Turkish Grand Prix

The latest news about the Turkish Grand Prix straight from Istanbul.

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