LEWIS HAMILTON was left to question Mercedes’ strategy after he lost out to Max Verstappen in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Tyre choices proved to be crucial for all the cars up and down the grid with overtaking traditionally difficult around this circuit.Lewis Hamilton only has two races left to try and claim his first win of the season[/caption]
With Hamilton and his teammate George Russell starting third and second respectively, behind Verstappen, hopes had risen that the seven-times World Champion could challenge for his first win of the season.
But strategy proved to be the undoing.
Mercedes had Hamilton and Russell start on the medium tyre and switch to the long-life but less grippier hard tyres, whereas Red Bull had Verstappen start on the quicker soft tyre before moving onto the surprisingly durable medium.
Hamilton thought this was the major difference between both teams in the race.
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“It’s something that I had asked and questioned. I thought maybe one of us, the two Mercedes, should have a soft to be able to attack.
“When both Red Bulls, and everyone behind, took their tyres off [at the beginning of the race] and had softs, I thought ‘shoot’.”
But an upbeat Hamilton added: “It may be a loss for us today but still this is good points. [There are] so many positives [to take]. The upgrade really, really worked in the last race.
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“We still have improvements to make, which we probably won’t make in the rest of this year, but we know exactly where we need to improve for next year.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admitted that the team messed up on strategy, adding that Red Bull’s soft-to-medium combination “wasn’t even on the radar.”
Meanwhile, Russell reflected on an exciting first-lap when he duelled with Hamilton before eventually losing second place.
He said: “I think the last four races for me have been probably scrappy and going into turn one, I knew I wouldn’t be able to overtake Max around the outside.
“And then when I had Lewis there, probably if it was anyone else but my team-mate, I’d have just ran him off the road.”
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