Ferrari chief uses Lewis Hamilton diversion with swipe at Mercedes
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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has claimed Lewis Hamilton lost the Mexican Grand Prix due to Mercedes strategy decisions in a diversion tactic. The Scuderia has been criticised all season for strategic errors which cost Charles Leclerc a chance to fight for the title.
The team made questionable strategy calls at the Monaco, British and Hungarian Grand Prix which meant Leclerc failed to capitalise on good points returns. However, Binotto has claimed Ferrari are not the only team capable of “making mistakes” after Mercedes’ poor calls in Mexico.
Hamilton was able to stay with Max Verstappen through the opening phase of the Grand Prix but lost ground in the second stint when the Silver Arrows opted for the hard tyre. The seven-time champion was unable to get the tyres working while Verstappen was going faster on the mediums.
It meant Hamilton eventually dropped over ten seconds behind the reigning world champion with Mercedes’ only hope being that Red Bull’s tyres would drop off at the end of the race.
Binotto said: “In Hungary, we have been criticised and it’s normally when we are doing things which are not completely right, we are criticised. Mercedes maybe have lost the last race as well by not choosing the right tyres in Austin. So I think it’s not only down to us somehow to make different choices or making mistakes.”
“We saw that there was not much degradation on the soft, or sufficient to run a one-stop soft-medium, and we went for it.” Hamilton slammed his team’s decision to switch to hard tyres during the race in a series of team radio calls.
The Briton moaned: “This tyre is not as good as the medium.”
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Later on, he asked race engineer Peter Bonnington: “Are we on the wrong tyre mate?” Hamilton appeared to agree with Binotto’s statements after the race as he suggested a series of wrong tyre call could have cost him a shot at taking victory.
He explained: “I was so close in that first stint, but I think the Red Bull were just clearly too fast today and ultimately they had the better tyre strategy. I’m not sure it was the right tyre at the end. I thought we should have started on a soft, but obviously we had the opposite tyre.”
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