Mercedes break silence on Lewis Hamilton team orders theory

Mercedes have responded to suggestions that they made a mistake with regards to their team orders strategy.

Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, has faced a challenging question from British broadcaster Ted Kravitz regarding Lewis Hamilton’s performance.

Kravitz inquired whether Hamilton could have secured victory in Singapore if Mercedes had allowed him to pass George Russell during the race. 

In response, Shovlin offered insight into the race dynamics, stating, “I’m sure that Lewis will think that if he’d been there, he would have done that. 

“Lewis was doing slightly quicker lap times closing up but George was managing the tyres to make sure he had the grip to fight when he got there. 

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“George came tantalisingly close to doing it on one lap where he was able to get alongside, and you’re talking about the finest of fine margins. 

“But as you said, I’m sure Lewis will think that he’s done it, but your original statement is an impossible question.”

Hamilton’s performance in Singapore had been a mixed one, as he faced a challenging qualifying session that relegated him to P5 on the starting grid. 

Despite this setback, Hamilton showcased his racecraft by finishing in P3, grabbing a podium after Russell’s unfortunate crash on the final lap.

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Reflecting on the race pace of the Mercedes, Shovlin remarked, “The race pace has been good. It says that the car is broadly where you need it to be. 

“But understanding the tires when you’re under pressure and when you’ve got to make sure you get the lap in the first session is difficult. 

“That certainly makes it a challenge for any driver who’s not completely comfortable when they roll out in Q1.”