Hamilton: Sticking to one-stop strategy only chance to beat Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes had no choice but to stick to a one-stop strategy to try and beat Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen in Sunday's French Grand Prix.

Hamilton: Sticking to one-stop strategy only chance to beat Verstappen

Hamilton fell to a late defeat to Verstappen at Paul Ricard after an aggressive switch to a two-stop strategy paid off for Red Bull.

Hamilton took the lead from Verstappen on the opening lap after the Red Bull driver ran wide at Turn 2, only to drop behind again at the first round of pit stops.

Verstappen ran less than a second clear of Hamilton in the Mercedes behind shortly into the second stint, only for Red Bull to bring him again at the end of Lap 32.

Mercedes stuck to its plan and kept Hamilton on a one-stop strategy, but the seven-time world champion was unable to keep Verstappen back as he reclaimed the lead on the penultimate lap.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

"Congrats to Max, he did a great job today," Hamilton said after the race.

"They just had the better straight [line speed] all weekend, and I think just considering that we had such a difficult Friday, I'm really happy with today's result.

"Of course we didn't win, and we were in the lead, but I had no tyres left at the end, so yeah unfortunately lost the position. But still it was a good race."

Hamilton was heard regularly discussing the condition of his tyres throughout the race. After Verstappen pitted, Mercedes radioed Hamilton and said, "let us know what you think", but did not bring him in again.

But Hamilton felt Mercedes had to stay out as pitting in response to Verstappen would only have brought him out behind once again.

Read Also:

"He was already quite far ahead, so the only option I really had was to stay out," Hamilton said.

"Otherwise again, he was undercutting me , so he would just come out ahead and I wouldn't be able to pace as they are too quick on the straights.

"So, the only option was to stay out as long as possible and hope that the tyres held together."

The result marked Red Bull's third win in a row and saw Verstappen extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship to 12 points over Hamilton.

"We've got to find some pace, that's for sure," Hamilton said.

"You can see most of the time we lost today was just on the straights, so we've got to definitely dig deep, try to figure out why that is, whether it's power or drag.

"But we've still got a good package."

Hamilton said that he was "not really sure" how he had dropped behind Verstappen in the first round of pit stops, only to be informed that the powerful undercut meant the extra lap he stayed out had cost him.

"We didn't know how strong that was going to be or not," Hamilton said.

"But what was really surprising was to run out of that front tyre early on, but obviously they had a good strategy and it worked really well today."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 French Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins from Hamilton at Paul Ricard
Previous article

F1 French Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins from Hamilton at Paul Ricard

Next article

FIA explains why Perez escaped F1 track limits penalty in France

FIA explains why Perez escaped F1 track limits penalty in France
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

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

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

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

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

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

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
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

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
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

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