Lewis Hamilton has criticized the Mercedes strategy that almost concluded his race at the Japanese Grand Prix. His teammate George Russell told him to marginally slow down in the dying laps of the race to provide Russell DRS and hold off Carlos Sainz’s challenge behind him.
However, the move stood out to be ill-advised as the Ferrari driver ended up overtaking Russell and then putting pressure on Lewis Hamilton during the concluding stage of the race.
Mercedes strategy criticised by Lewis Hamilton that ‘made no sense’
After the breakdown in the tactics, Lewis Hamilton criticized the decision and stated that it made no sense for his team to go for that call.
Lewis Hamilton said,
“When they suggested it to me, I knew that they obviously thought of it from the last race, but it made no sense.”
He further added,
“I needed to get as far clear as possible. I was on my way, around two seconds ahead, and they asked me to give George DRS, and I had to come off the gas down the straight.
Then he got overtaken by Sainz. He then got past George, and he was right on my tail which was not ideal.’
Hamilton concluded the race in 5th place, and Sainz failed to overtake him in the end in 6th, while Russell concluded back in 7th.
The comments came up after a hard race for Hamilton and his team, following two British driver’s clash over the radio following two near collisions with each other in the early phases of the Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen got back to wins in Japan, concluding first on the podium after his unsatisfactory run in Singapore last week.
The defending world champion finished twenty seconds ahead of Lando Norris and McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri in a smooth victory.
Verstappen is incredibly happy on the win
After claiming a dominant victory, Verstappen said,
“Unbelievable weekend. To win here was great. The most important thing was to win the constructors. Very proud of everyone working at the track and at the factory. We are having an incredible year.”
Verstappen single-handedly delivered Red Bull their world title. However, it was a disappointing afternoon for teammate Sergio Perez who twice had to pit for new front wings following contact with Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen and then retired from the race twice.
With Verstappen’s win at Suzuka, it ensures 15th by the team this year with last week’s race in Singapore being the only bad side on the otherwise undefeated record in 2023.