Despite describing the Australian Grand Prix as one of his best drives in his Formula 1 career, Lewis Hamilton has continued to complain about the strategy decision that saw him make a second pit stop, costing him valuable track position to the front runners.
Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button managed to win the race utilising a single pit stop. Known to be gentler on his tyres than Hamilton probably afforded him this luxury more so than Lewis, who has been known to be much harder on his tyre wear.
With the top-four runners of Button, Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso electing to run the rest of the race distance without pitting after their change to dry tyres, Hamilton was the first of the two-stopping runners in 5th, and rapidly catching the Kubica-Massa-Alonso trio.
Having caught the group, he looked set to challenge to overtake Alonso, only to be rammed from behind by Mark Webber’s Red Bull with two laps to run. Continuing without apparent damage, he finished 6th.
"To sum up the race I think I probably had one of the drives of my life and unfortunately, due to the strategy, I was put further back and then I got taken out by Mark Webber," Hamilton told the BBC after the race.
"I’m happy with the job that I did. I think I honestly drove my heart out today and I think I deserved better than what I ended up with, but I’ll keep fighting to the next race."
Over the team radio, Hamilton was heard to have criticised the team’s decision to bring him in for fresh tyres, and remained certain that the wrong strategy call had been made.
"All I know is the guys do, always, a fantastic job, but the strategy was not right," he said. "Everyone else in front of me did one stop and for some reason I did two."
When asked whose decision the second stop had been, Hamilton replied: "I don’t know, we’ll find out."
As the driver out on the track, Lewis, you should know that the final decision to pit rests with you.
Just admit that you were outsmarted on this one and leave it at that!
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