Brawn: It was for Mercedes to tell Hamilton that to do

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton at the Russian Grand Prix. Sochi September 2021.

Lewis Hamilton looking deep in thought at the Russian Grand Prix. Sochi September 2021.

Ross Brawn says while teams may want to back off when a driver doesn’t agree, it is up to the team to tell him what to do as he is in a “bubble”.

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton were at loggerheads in Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix as the team wanted him to pit when his title rival Max Verstappen stopped but the driver wanted the track position.

Hamilton insisted that his tyres were fine, and, as the one behind the wheel, stayed out.

Laps later Mercedes again told him to pit and he did, but unfortunately for the driver it was no longer an opportune time to pit and he lost two places on the track.

Hamilton was, at the time at least, furious with Mercedes and questioned their strategy but later insisted that too much had been made of his words that were said in the heat of the moment.

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Former F1 team boss Brawn, now Formula 1’s managing director, says he understands why Mercedes initially didn’t push Hamiilton to pit.

“Once again teams were faced with a very difficult strategic decision,” Brawn said in his post-race column.

“In these scenarios, you’re trusting your judgment, experience and feel.

“As we saw with Lewis, there was a fair bit of initial resistance from within the car about pitting.

“When these situations are not clear-cut and you get a push back from the driver, it’s easy for a team to back off what they feel was the right decision.”


But, he adds, it was up to the team to tell the driver what to do as he doesn’t have all the information.

“The driver is in a bubble. They need to give you information, but what they can’t see is all the data being fed to the pit wall,” Brawn explained.

“In Lewis’ case if he didn’t box and the tyres had gone away or there had been a light rain shower, he would have tumbled down the order and that would have been a disaster.”


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