Lewis Hamilton suggests extending races if there’s a late Safety Car

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After the Italian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton suggested that Formula 1 could consider extending races to avoid a Safety Car finish.

The Italian Grand Prix finished under the Safety Car, after Daniel Ricciardo suffered a DNF six laps before the end of the race.

Lewis Hamilton told his team on the radio that F1 could consider adding more laps to the race, to avoid a Safety Car finish.

“I mean, what’s the harm in extending it? Naturally, as a racer, you want more time,” the Briton said after the race.

“I wanted to be able to challenge the Ferrari ahead of me and see if I could get another position.

“But I think in hindsight it was probably a good ending. I’m really grateful to have come back from the last row.”

When the Safety Car came out, most drivers pitted for fresh tyres, while Hamilton opted not to.

“My tyres didn’t feel bad, I felt like I could keep temperature in them.

“They said there was two people in my pit window so if I’d pitted I would have come out behind two people and I didn’t want to risk it so I just stayed out.”

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However, Lewis adds that the Safety Car finish played into his hands.

“The soft was starting to fall off a little bit and I think they stopped so they had new tyres so I probably wouldn’t have been able to get past him.

The Briton ultimately managed to go from P19 to P5, which he admits he enjoyed.

“I really enjoyed the battle with everyone, slowly working away with this car. It was definitely a challenge from the beginning.”

He also added that passing Lando Norris, late in the race, was very important to be able to get P5.

“This was a key move because I think if I hadn’t pulled that off then I would have been two places back.

“It’s just about timing. You don’t always get it right but I saw Lando coming out and I was like ‘this is the one moment we have the chance’.

“Fortunately he was getting challenged by someone else down the outside so I cut across and it felt great to pull alongside him,” Hamilton concluded.

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