Lewis Hamilton questioned Mercedes’ strategy of asking him to give teammate George Russell DRS.
Lewis Hamilton said it was unwise to offer team-mate George Russell DRS to protect Carlos Sainz in the final laps of the Japanese GP.
At the end of the Suzuka race, Russell ran fifth, but Hamilton and Sainz closed behind him. Russell used much older tires as he chose to change his tires only once, while the competitors behind him ran a two-stop strategy. Russell suggested Mercedes use DRS to keep Sainz at the back, a similar strategy the Spaniard used en route to victory in Singapore last week.
However, Mercedes swapped cars before asking Hamilton to give Russell DRS – but Sainz’s advantage was enough to see him in last. The Spaniard then chased Hamilton but was unable to overtake the seven-time world champion for fifth, while Russell finished seventh within one stop. Russell DRS of Hamilton Speaking to media Hamilton questioned Mercedes’ strategic use of DRS.
“I didn’t think it was a good idea,” he said. “When they suggested it to me, I knew they probably thought of it from the previous race and it didn’t make any sense.
“I had to get as far as possible. And I was on the track, I was about two seconds ahead and they asked me to give George a DRS. “So I had to get off the gas straight away to get him by 0.8s. “Then he got DRS but then passed, which happened because he was in one stop. “He [Sainz] passed him [Russell] and then he was right on my tail, so not ideal.
That made it very, very difficult in the last two laps. “I think as a team we have to be thankful for fifth and seventh. It’s better than sixth and seventh.”