Everything went back to normal during the F1 Japanese Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen got back on the win column in dominant fashion and clinched the World Constructors' Championship. But, a lot of buzz has been surrounding Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate, George Russell. The two were in hot pursuit of a podium finish during the last laps in Suzuka. But, the seven-time world champion did not like the strategy they deployed which cost them the race, via Fergal Walsh of Racing News 365.
“I don't think it was a good idea. When they suggested it to me, I knew that they obviously thought of it from the last race and it made no sense,” Lewis Hamilton said regarding the play call Mercedes used for George Russell.
Toto Wolff and the Silver Arrows seemed to be imitating what Carlos Sainz did at the Singapore Grand Prix. Hamilton slowed down such that Russell could take advantage of the DRS zone against the Ferrari driver. Sainz even took notice of this while it was being executed at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix.
Overall, Hamilton knows that they could have slipped even further in the standings, “He [Sainz] got past him [Russell] and then he was right on my tail, so not ideal. It made it very, very hard for the last couple of laps. I think as a team, we've got to be grateful for fifth and seventh. It's better than sixth and seventh.”
All of these gave way for a McLaren double podium because Hamilton had to hit the breaks. Will this call be detrimental in their battle for second in the constructor's standings?