Hamilton: We had to launch with software

Lewis Hamilton, photo Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton finished second in the the race in Mexico. The Mercedes driver decided to go with medium, while his direct rivals from Red Bull opted for soft.

The Brit made an excellent start and handled Russell. Unfortunately, Mercedes made a mistake during the Briton’s only pit stop. Hamilton believes his use of the hard tire strategy has cost him his chance of a first win of the 2022 season.

The Mercedes team opted to start with medium tires and switched to hard tires in the second stint towards the end of the race. The Germans expected that their Austrian rivals would bet on two stops.

At first it looked like Hamilton was faster compared to Verstappen who was on a soft-medium strategy. In the end, the Briton never threatened the first position of his Dutch rival. The seven-time world champion finished 15.186 seconds behind. by Max Verstappen.

“I was so close in the first stint. I think Red Bull were just too fast today and they ended up having the better tire strategy,” Hamilton said immediately after the Mexican Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, some competitors decided to use soft at the end of the race. One of them was Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian showed incredible pace in the closing stages of the race in Mexico City and finished seventh, despite being penalized 10 seconds for a collision with Yuki Tsunoda.

However, such a strategy would not be possible for Hamilton, as the Briton does not have a brand new set of the softest compounds. Verstappen’s case was not so different. Because of this, the Mercedes driver suggests it would have been better to start with a used set of soft tyres.

“I’m not sure we were on the right tires at the end of the race. We had to launch with software. Unfortunately we decided to run with medium tires which were fine in the first stint. After that, the hard tire was just terrible,” Hamilton said.

“I love Mexico and the people here so much. You saw what a great race and event took place this weekend,” the Mercedes driver added.

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell finished in fourth position. The Mercedes driver lost two positions at the start and was never able to catch up. Like Hamilton, Russell was also extremely unhappy with the decision to use solid tyres. The young Brit made an extra stop late in the race to record the fastest lap at the Mexican Grand Prix.

“I was cautious with Lewis [Хамилтън] on the inside of the first turn which ended up costing me two positions. If I had finished the first lap in second position, we would have finished on the podium,” Russell said. The Mercedes driver wants to understand why his team made a mistake while his rivals opted for a different strategy.

“We need to understand why Red Bull and Ferrari thought the soft start was right and we didn’t. We couldn’t handle the hard tires. I’m really proud of the work the team is doing. “Red Bull are still in a league of their own, but if you look at our pace compared to Ferrari, it’s really impressive,” concluded George Russell.

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