Hamilton wanted to start Eifel GP on medium tyres

Lewis Hamilton wanted to start the Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix on medium tyres, but trusts Mercedes' decision to switch him to softs during qualifying at the Nurburgring.

Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas went out on track on the medium-compound tyre to complete their initial efforts in Q2.

While Hamilton was able to sit second after the first runs on mediums, Bottas slumped down to eighth, putting him at risk of being eliminated without a soft tyre run.

Mercedes opted to switch both drivers to softs for their final Q2 runs, allowing them to ease through to Q3 where Bottas beat Hamilton to pole by more than two tenths of a second.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the thinking behind the tyre call, Hamilton revealed that he had wanted to start the race on mediums.

"I could have got through on that tyre," Hamilton said. "I wanted to start on it, just because I always like to do something different, but the team chose for us to both be on the same tyre.

"We'll see whether it was the right choice tomorrow. I'm sure it was the right choice. The other one would have been a little bit harder."

Read Also:

Bottas explained that he had struggled to get the mediums up to temperature when completing running on the compound during the sole practice session at the Nurburgring on Saturday morning.

"When we had it, it was a pretty green track, so it was hard to get a proper read of the tyre, how it's behaving," Bottas said. "For me, that run was quite poor. I couldn't get enough temperature from the out lap on the tyres. I'm happy to be on the soft."

Hamilton set a faster time in Q2 than he did in Q3, and admitted his runs in the final session did not feel as strong.

"I'll have to go back [and review the data], but definitely Q2 felt good, and when I got to Q3, it just didn't feel good, either run, so just the grip didn't feel the same," Hamilton said.

Track temperatures at the Nurburgring during qualifying reached no higher than 16ºC, making it difficult for the drivers to get their tyres up to temperature.

Hamilton thought similar conditions in the race could make managing the front tyres a particular challenge.

"The usual effects from the track getting colder is the front tyres usually suffer a bit more," Hamilton said. "We generally have a bit more understeer potentially. If there's safety cars, restarting our tyres is going to be a struggle, that's for sure.

"We're all in the same boat. I don't really know how far the tyres will go, but when it gets a bit cooler, generally they can go a bit further, because they work in a slightly different range.

"I hope this is still exciting tomorrow somehow."

shares
comments
Verstappen "disappointed" with Eifel GP qualifying result

Previous article

Verstappen "disappointed" with Eifel GP qualifying result

Next article

Sainz blames new upgrade struggles for Eifel GP disappointment

Sainz blames new upgrade struggles for Eifel GP disappointment
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021