Shovlin says Hamilton now “understands the reasons” for pit stop

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explains why it was absolutely necessary for Mercedes to pit Lewis Hamilton at the Turkish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton had his first pit stop at the Turkish Grand Prix only eight laps before the end of the race. He believed he could finish the race on his original set of intermediate tyres, but afterwards Andrew Shovlin explained it would have been a bad way to go.

“If you look at Esteban [Ocon], he got overtaken by Lance [Stroll] about five or six laps from the end and finished 17 seconds behind them, and that’s how quickly you fall off,” Shovlin explained.

“That’s what was in our minds. It’s not just ‘can we keep going at this pace’. Esteban lost a further two seconds in that short run to the finish, and that’s where it goes wrong.

“We’ll go through it and we’ll double check, but we’re fairly certain that he would have lost those two places, if not been at risk of more.”

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Shovlin then explained how, despite his original frustration, Lewis later understood that the pit stop was necessary.

“He’s deeply invested in this championship and we wouldn’t really expect anything other than frustration at a P5 where at one point we thought we might be able to hang on.

“But we’ll go through that. We’ve had a debrief with him and now he understands the reasons. I think it’s just the kind of frustration from him [because] at times in that race he thought he was going to be on the podium, and that didn’t come true.

“I think there’s a bit of disappointment in that but if we look at how we operated, it was sensible and in a championship battle there’s a point where you’ve got to stop taking risks and cut your losses.

“Although those decisions are difficult to do, you’ve got to be strong and you’ve got to take them,” concluded the Briton.

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