Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris broke into an impromptu chit chat aftet the F1 Russian GP, discussing about their pit calls.
Mercedes’ Hamilton was pumped up after taking his 100th F1 win in Russian GP after McLaren’s Norris’ gamble to not pit didn’t work. The latter lost what looked like a certain victory and was pretty disappointed when talking to the media.
He did have that odd smile, but not the same as Hamilton. While the Mercedes driver came forward to speak with Sky Sports, he started an impromptu chat with the McLaren racer, who was speak to a different media. They talked about their pit call.
Hamilton: “Lando, you didn’t want to come in?”
Hamilton: “Me, neither. I was like, he’s right there, he’s right there. (inaudible) …you looking into the mirrors doing the same?”
Norris: “Yeah, I think until then, it was dry enough for slicks…”
Hamilton: “…it was only Turn 5 and Turn 7…which was tough…”
Norris: “….but this part was all dry. So like our decision, like, what I was told was the rain was going to stay like that. Apparently what you got told was different…”
Hamilton: “Yeah, yeah, yeah! My team were very great today but I ignored the first call. I was like no, he’s right there.”
Norris: “I ignored him the whole time!”
Hamilton was all praise for Norris but had more for his team, who made the right call to push him in. Even though, it is slightly easier to pit being second on the road, but they had to take the call, especially after F1 title rival Max Verstappen decided to pit.
“Firstly I can’t take credit for that amazing decision, that was the team’s,” said Hamilton. “For me, I was very much in no-man’s land for a long time in terms of… I didn’t really know where I was in the race. I had no idea how far Lando was ahead. I was just trying to set the best time every lap. Once I got past one of the McLarens in my second stint, getting past people, chasing down Lando.
“They were incredibly quick all of a sudden. He was doing a really great job. Just in those last moments, it was slippery in 5 and a little bit in 7 but then everywhere else grip was pretty good. Lando went off I think in 5 on one lap and I was like ‘OK, OK, stay out, it’s most likely going to happen again, I’ll try to catch him out’. Then they called me in and I was like: ‘Yeah, but he’s right there!’
“I only had three laps to catch up 24 seconds, so it was like ‘no way’. So I wasn’t convinced the first lap. The next lap it rained more and I was definitely more convinced then, so I came in,” summed up Hamilton. His team boss Toto Wolff elaborated a bit more on the call, who put it on the easier decision considering Verstappen pitted.
“Rich, who runs the weather and reliability was adamant that the weather is coming in and it started to drizzle,” said Wolff to TV media. “But only half the circuit was humid and this is when we made the call that you have to pit and that’s what we did. It is nerve wracking if other stays out, but of course we are racing Verstappen and he went for the inters as well and you want to protect the position from him. It maybe made our call easier because when you are leading the race, it is always tough to make the right decision.”
Here’s the moment when Lewis Hamilton passed Lando Norris: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-russian-grand-prix-norris-slides-off-track-in-pouring-rain-as-hamilton-takes-race-lead.1711972132401921087.html
Here’s how F1 Russian GP panned out