Hamilton called Mercedes' request to Suzuka meaningless

Author of the article: , published September 24, 2023.

Lewis Hamilton said after the Japanese Grand Prix that Mercedes' request to provide DRS to team-mate George Russell made no sense.

Russell was driving in fifth place in the final laps of the race when Hamilton and Carlos Sainz overtook him. Russell took a risk with the tactic of a single tire change and thus found himself out of favor with his rivals on less worn tires on the track. The Briton suggested they follow Sainz's lead in Singapore by offering mutual DRS assistance, thinking Hamilton would stay behind him to defend against Sainz, but he was told by the team to let Hamilton in front, while the seven-time champion then have Russell provide DRS assistance so he doesn't extend the lead beyond the second it takes to activate. Sainz then overtook him and set off in pursuit of Hamilton.

"He wasn't good for too long," Hamilton said after the race. "It was immediately clear to me that they wanted to imitate the last race, but it didn't make sense. I had to run as far forward as possible and when I was asked to offer DRS to George I was already two seconds ahead of him. That's why I had to slow down on the straight to get him to 0.8 seconds. He got DRS but was overtaken by Sainz, which was going to happen anyway as he was on one stop. Carlos overtook him and immediately caught up with me, which was not ideal. It made my last laps very, very difficult. As a team, we can be grateful for fifth and seventh place, which is still better than sixth and seventh."

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