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Mercedes admit Hamilton strategy error in Japan

Mercedes admit Hamilton strategy error in Japan

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Mercedes admit Hamilton strategy error in Japan

Mercedes admit Hamilton strategy error in Japan

Mercedes have admitted that they got Lewis Hamilton's strategy wrong during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished third from fourth on the grid, but a conservative strategy did little to help him in comparison to teammate Valtteri Bottas, while he was unable to get by Sebastian Vettel in a late chare for second place after a late stop.

The Briton openly criticised Mercedes' strategy during the race, lamenting the team's choice of tyres as he faced losing significant time to those he was in competition with.

"Looking at the strategy, what we should have done is stopped Lewis earlier and gone for an aggressive undercut, sticking with that two-stop [race], but an aggressive undercut and that would hopefully have put Lewis ahead at the end of the first stint," trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said on Mercedes' YouTube debrief.

Hamilton suggested post-race that he could have made a one-stop strategy work with "better guidance" from the pit wall, but Shovlin says it was not a possibility.

He added: "What we could see on Lewis' car was the lap times starting to drop, initially one-tenth per lap but then it went up to three-tenths of a second per lap for the last couple of laps and he radioed to say the tyres were dropping.

"This was an indication to us that we had had the best of the tyre. You can keep going but every lap will get slower and slower and you lose out overall.

"At the point we had to make a decision we didn't have all the data from other cars but what we could see is that drivers who made a successful one-stopped made the first set of tyres go very, very far."

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