Lewis Hamilton has doubts about Mercedes’ strategy calls, particularly the timing of the second pit stop.
Strategy proved to be key at the Dutch GP as the battle for the race win was significantly affected by the calls from the pit lane. Championship rivals Verstappen and Hamilton were on a two-stop strategy, though they had differences – the Red Bull driver was on hard tires after his second pit stop, while the Mercedes driver had mediums fitted on his W12 to gain an advantage one lap earlier. In fact, Hamilton failed to overtake the race leader.
More than that, the Briton thinks that it has been the wrong timing to pit because of the traffic as well.
“We stopped too early in that second part and it had been a point where we [had] got through traffic,” he told Sky Sports.
“I lost a good second from him [in the traffic] and I needed time to catch up and close that gap up before we did the stop.
“Then I came out behind traffic, so I couldn’t actually implement and I don’t know how they didn’t see that. But it is what it is and we’ll work through it.
“Congrats to Max, they [Red Bull] put an upgrade on at the last race and they are quick.”
At the same time, Hamilton admits that he has not had the pace to catch Verstappen for the bigger part of the race.
“The reason it was difficult was because I was within three seconds. But the tires were actually pretty good this weekend. I was flat out the whole race. There was no tire management. I was just trying to keep as close as possible.
“[Verstappen] was faster today, they [Red Bull] were on another level that I didn’t have an answer for most of the laps.”