1. Ian
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  3. Tuesday, 28 September 2021
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Slight stress broke out at the Mercedes pit wall when Lewis Hamilton refused to enter the pit lane on lap 48. Although the rain intensified, the seven-time world champion considered the increasingly slippery track to be passable on the soft tire set, also because Lando Norris was ahead of him. attempted the same. A lap later, the German racing stable managed to convince the driver.

"Hamilton's hesitation almost cost us the race," one of the top team's engineers told for Fpal.org. "On lap 48, Mercedes asked Hamilton to make a pit stop and switch to wet-weather tires, but the Briton refused. Norris, in the McLaren a few seconds ahead of him, didn't do this either.

Why did he stay outside? "Hamilton thought he had it under control," argues one of the strategists from Brackley. "He saw Norris and thought he could beat him in these conditions," he added. Norris struggled hard with the equipment in the second sector, where the rain started to get harder.


The real downpour hadn't hit the track yet so it was possible for the seven-time world champion to get his W12 into the pit lane with relatively little danger. "That was okay at the time, but we knew that heavy rain was coming in thirty seconds," the engineers knew. "Hamilton also had to do a full lap."

So they started talking to him again. According to the German motorsport medium, chief strategist James Vowles has a button that he can press that forces the driver to make a pit stop. Hamilton's engineer, Peter Bonnington, convinced him before Vowles needed that button. "Once again we asked him to come in and we explained to him why," it concludes. Had Norris acted on that same lap, the race would have been for the younger Brit.


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