Hamilton kept telling Mercedes it was ‘dry, dry, dry’

Date published: August 2 2021 - Michelle Foster

Lewis Hamilton alone restart

Lewis Hamilton trusted Mercedes’ weather forecast, leaving him the sole driver to line up on the grid for the restart of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix got off to a chaotic start in the wet as Valtteri Bottas got his braking wrong into Turn 1 and caused a multi-car accident.

Race Control red flagged the race with only 15 drivers taking the restart.

But while Hamilton led the field around for the formation lap on a dry Hungaroring, the pole-sitter found himself alone on the grid as the other 14 all dived into the pits to swap their intermediate tyres for slicks.

Hamilton took the restart with the rest starting from the pit lane.

He was forced to pit that lap as the track was too dry for inters, dropping him from 1st to last.

He explained that Mercedes believed the rain would return.

“I was telling the team how the track was through the lap but they said the rain was coming when we got in the car and I thought they had other information,” he said.

“I saw everyone diving in, but anyways.”

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Asked if he didn’t know if he was permitted to pit on the formation lap, the reigning World Champion explained: “Yeah, I know that we can pit.

“Obviously we all started on the inters and I tried, just through the formation lap, giving the team information.

“It was dry in all the corners and so I kept telling them: dry, dry, dry and they said to stay out.

“I don’t really understand but I’m sure it is top off… definitely a mistake from us all but we win and lose as a team and we bear the burden of the mistakes together and we just keep fighting.

“The team did an amazing job with the strategy, with the pit stops and I just had to make it work out there, so it was flat chat for the entire race and very, very hard with tyre temperatures and that but nonetheless I enjoyed it.”

Hamilton recovered to finish third but could yet be promoted to P2 as Sebastian Vettel’s runner-up result is provisional based on appeal by Aston Martin for a fuel violation.