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Palmer: Mercedes too narrow minded with Monaco strategy

Mercedes attempted to pull Sir Lewis Hamilton in for an undercut pitstop at the Monaco Grand Prix, but the move backfired and saw the champion cede two places.

SIr Lewis Hamilton finished seventh at the Monaco Grand Prix, losing his lead of the drivers' championship to Max Verstappen and top off a tough weekend for the reigning champion. Hamilton struggled to keep pace with the Red Bulls, Ferraris and his teammate during qualifying and was never in contention for a podium place, but his issues were compounded by Mercedes' call to attempt an undercut pitstop against the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly. The stop was mistimed and he exited the pitlane behind Gasly, which allowed first Sebastian Vettel and then Sergio Perez to overcut the Mercedes and Hamilton to call out his team on the radio. Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer thinks that by going all out in their pitstop strategy for the race, Mercedes ultimately botched the chance of a better finish for Hamilton, he told F1.com "Mercedes were guilty of being too narrow minded on Sunday, going all out for a win or bust strategy to beat Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and secure fifth," he said. "By pitting early they clearly were attempting the undercut on Gasly – but even if that had worked, everybody ahead would have pitted and covered off Hamilton, so they would have gained maximum one place in the race. "But even the undercut didn’t work. Hamilton was over a second away from Gasly when he pitted, onto a hard tyre which doesn’t warm up very well, on top of what is an inherent weakness for Mercedes this season in terms of getting temperature into the tyres." Palmer added that had Mercedes not opted for an early stop, then other teams may never have been given the opportunity for the overcut. "Had Mercedes not pitted first they would have needed to wait for somebody else to take the plunge, as Perez and Vettel did. It was Hamilton’s stop which dragged Gasly out of position and helped the Aston Martin and Red Bull drivers pass him as well," he said. "Possibly nobody would have pitted early without Mercedes bringing Hamilton in, but even that would have been a better outcome for Hamilton as it guarantees he doesn’t lose a place, and still gives him strategy options ahead."

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