James Allison says, according to Mercedes data, Lewis Hamilton would have finished in P7 or P8 in Turkey if he didn’t pit.
With most having already pitted, the seven-time World Champion wanted to try and make it to the end on his first set of inters at Istanbul Park and disobeyed his team’s orders for him to pit shortly after Sergio Perez.
He did eventually do as they asked and pitted but rejoined in P5 a long way behind the Mexican who was only just ahead of him before his first stop.
The Brit wasn’t happy with his team and was adamant that they should have left him out to go to the end without pitting at all.
However, they think he would have finished two or three places lower down the field if he got his wish due to the lack of pace on the old inters.
Now, I think the optimum would have been 36, 37,” said Allison in the Mercedes YouTube debrief.
“By the time we realised that we should have made that stop then and we were looking to cut our losses it was around about lap 41 and that too would have been okay, that would have been a fourth-place type of stop.
“In the end we pushed on a bit longer than that, another nine laps with the tyres degrading all the while and when we eventually did call Lewis in it was because the lap time chart that we use to make our predictions was telling us that it was not looking good for hanging on to the end of the race.
“That the car’s pace by then would be sufficiently poor that he wouldn’t hang on to the place that he was holding at the time and we were looking at something that was somewhere in the region of seventh, eighth place based on the way in which the tyres were progressively degrading.”
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Earlier in the race, Hamilton looked to be well in with a chance of finishing on the podium, with him rapidly catching Perez ahead of him.
Once he caught the Mexican though, he couldn’t find a way past and lost a fair amount of time behind him before the Red Bull man pitted.
Given his stronger pace in clean air, an undercut would have got him ahead at most races, but Mercedes were unsure it would do the trick there as it took some time to find pace on new intermediates.
Yes, it is possible we might have made an undercut,” he said.
“But you have to remember that when you come out on fresh Intermediate tyres on a track that is no longer covered in water and is actually nearer to dry than it was to wet then those tyres have to be treated with kid gloves in the opening laps, else they tear themselves to pieces and suffer from what we call heavy graining.
“So, instead of what you can normally do which is come straight out on new rubber, hit it and get a jump on someone, we would have to come out and then be super careful on that new rubber.
“So, pretty tough to undercut in those circumstances.”
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