The 2021 Turkish Grand Prix has now gone into the archive for a few days, but the controversy inherent in the strategy carried out by Mercedes on the tire change of Lewis Hamilton they don’t seem to subside. The world champion, engaged in a complex comeback attempt on Verstappen after the start from 11th place, in fact returned to the pits less than ten laps from the end of the race to mount another set of intermediate tires, with those used. until then they were now in an advanced state of wear. On the other hand, the British driver had expressed his willingness to proceed non-stop up to the checkered flag, then listening to the team’s opinion. In all this, Hamilton then finished in 5th place, showing however a certain opposition to the strategy implemented by the German manufacturer.
In this regard he also intervened James Allison, Technical Director of the three-pointed star: the British engineer, interviewed by the official website of Formula 1, focused on what would have happened if the number 44 had continued his race without the passage to the pits, with a forecast on the final placement in the event that this scenario would have actually occurred: “As always, it is obvious to know what the perfect lap would have been to pit once the race was over – explained Allison on the official Mercedes Youtube channel – but overall the best time to stop would have been around the 36th or 37th lap, ie when Valtteri and Verstappen stopped. If Lewis had done the same and then managed his tires properly, then he would have finished fourth in all likelihood, possibly able to put pressure on Perez for third place or even surpass him. Instead we didn’t, staying out longer hoping the track would dry out and the tires would last. We would have obtained third place more easily, outclassing those who had already made a pit stop. When we realized that we should have made that stop it was lap 41, but we pushed a little longer, for nine laps, with the tires that were degrading in the meantime ”.
“When we finally called Lewis – he added – it was because the lap time graph, which we use to make our predictions, showed us that he would not have reached the end of the race. In that case he would have gotten it reasonably a seventh or eighth place. So, in all likelihood, we would have reached the end of the race with a set of tires without too much difficulty. Ocon did it, for example, and our car usually handles the tires better than many of our competitors. So yes, we would have made it to the end of the race, but we would have been very slow. The tire used rubber throughout the race and towards the end, when the track was almost dry, the wear was even more severe. Lewis’ lap times were starting to get worse lap after lap. And even if it would have made it to the end of the race, the pace would have been pretty bleak by the time it got there ”.