James Allison explains why Russell lost P6 to Hamilton at Imola

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After being asked to box for fresh tyres at Imola, George Russell asked the team to let him pass Lewis Hamilton to get P6 back. He was refused and now James Allison explains why he lost the position.

After spending the first half of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell was called in by the team to pit for fresh tyres in the second half of the race, which put him behind his team-mate.

George ultimately got a point for fastest lap, but he finished the race in P7, behind Lewis. Obviously believing that he was called in just so the team can get the fastest lap point, George asked the team to let him get P6 back, but they did not ask Lewis to let him by.

Mercedes’ Technical Director James Allison explains why George was called in.

“The pace of George relative to Lewis on his second stint and corrected it for both the fuel mass and the tyre age the two cars were very well overlaid,” the Briton said.

“There was no real inherent difference between the way that Lewis was pedalling and the way that George was.

“The difference between the two cars was that George’s first stint length was much shorter, which meant that by the time he was out on his second stint with the hard rubber, his tyres were older than everyone else’s.

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“Which just meant that he had a longer stint to go and his tyres were that much more degraded, compared to those he was on the track with at the same time.

“The pace of the car was about what it should be for that length of stint and that age of tyre.

“But that length of stint and that age of tyre was looking like it was just going to be quite marginal at the end of the race.

“On a precautionary basis, we decided that we would stop George a second time, put him on fresh rubber, get him that chance at fastest lap, which obviously is beneficial for the team on points, making sure that he had no risk of running out of rubber and suffering sort of premature failure towards the very end of the race.

“Nothing wrong with the tyre in that stint at all, really just paying the price for a first stint that was a little bit on the short side,” Allison concluded.

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