Horner: Mercedes let Ferrari off the hook with Hamilton F1 tyre call

Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks Mercedes let Ferrari off the hook with its tyre strategy at Formula 1's British Grand Prix, which he thinks cost Lewis Hamilton a shot at the win.

Horner: Mercedes let Ferrari off the hook with Hamilton F1 tyre call
Listen to this article

Hamilton had delivered his most competitive outing of the season so far at Silverstone, as he led the race during the middle pitstop phase having extended his first stint on medium tyres.

His tyre degradation looked good and he managed to get to lap 33 on the medium compound he started with. This compared to main rivals Carlos Sainz having pitted on lap 20 and Charles Leclerc on lap 25.

Rather than going for the fastest soft, Mercedes elected to put Hamilton on to the safer hard, a move which Horner reckons was wrong as he feels the team missed the chance for a maximum performance offset against Ferrari.

"I was actually surprised that Lewis, with the amount of laps to go, and the degradation that he's shown, didn't take a soft," explained Horner.

"He went onto the hard tyre on lap 33 and I actually thought he was going to go on to the soft, because that would have made it much easier for him to make the offset in grip. It felt like they [Ferrari] have maybe been let off the hook there."

Horner also says he has questions about Ferrari's own strategy calls, having not got Sainz out of the way of Leclerc early in the race, and then electing not to pit its Monegasque driver at the final safety car.

"Everybody's different aren't they? Every team is different," he said about the team's approach.

"I suppose that the call I understood least was not to pit both their cars, or certainly Charles, for the soft tyre [at the safety car]."

That late safety car that was triggered by Esteban Ocon's Alpine stopping on the old start-finish straight.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

While Ferrari chose not to pit both cars because it felt there was not enough time to double stack - and it didn't want Leclerc to come in and lose the lead to Hamilton if he carried on - Horner believes that it should have stopped.

"[Hamilton] obviously had a free stop," said Horner. "And when you're the lead car, it's the hardest thing in the world to pit from the lead.

"But I think even if Lewis would have stayed out, with the tyre advantage of the soft, they [Ferrari] would have repassed him."

Read Also:

Ferrari's strategy decision meant Leclerc dropped from the lead at the restart to finish fourth, which only put him three places ahead of title rival Max Verstappen.

Horner admits that things could have been much worse for his team after Verstappen's victory hopes evaporated thanks to car damage picked up from an errant AlphaTauri front wing endplate.

"On a day where we've had two cars that were not in good shape at different points of the race, Sergio [Perez] has extended his lead over Charles, consolidating second place, and Max has only conceded six points to Charles.

"I think in the constructors we lost only 13 points. It could have been much worse."

shares
comments

Related video

Schumacher: Haas F1 "did the right things at the right time"
Previous article

Schumacher: Haas F1 "did the right things at the right time"

Next article

Alonso expected Leclerc F1 penalty for weaving during British GP

Alonso expected Leclerc F1 penalty for weaving during British GP
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Prime

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023, which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Prime

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos Prime

The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos

The Hart-powered Jordan 194 gave the team hope that the good times were just around the corner. Its 1994 steed wasn’t the start of a move up F1’s pecking order - even if the car did earn the Silverstone team a first pole position. But, as STUART CODLING explains, it did provide a platform for Jordan to become a manufacturer-supported squad.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2022