A thorough inquest into Lewis Hamilton’s bungled pit stop in Valencia at the weekend puts the blame at the pit wall NOT the garage.
A fraction of a second mis-timing in changing the pit-stop strategy cost the McLaren driver “a couple of seconds” because his tyres were not ready.
All the kit and tyres were out of position when Hamilton arrived in his box, because the teams decision to let him stay out for one more lap wasn’t relayed in time and he had already turned into the pit lane.
However, teams are not allowed out of the garage unless their car is on its way into the pits (which can include on the in-lap), so the tyres and equipment were not ready.
Jonathan Neale, the team managing director, moved to dismiss any suggestion that it had been the team’s mechanics at fault for mistake, insisting it was purely the pit walls error.
He is confident, however, that the management and engineers on the pit wall will be more switched-on when making strategy calls during the next Grand Prix at Spa in Belgium.
Neale said: “I have to say that, in defence of the garage, the garage are blameless.
“In this case there was some unfair criticism of the guys who actually manage the tyres and work the cars – the crew did an excellent job but our decision making was slow and we compromised the pit stop.
“So what we need to do for this weekend is learn on that, look at our decision making, and everybody on the pit wall who has been through the after event analysis and debrief will be sharper next week.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team