Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2018

Hamilton told Mercedes his final set of tyres wouldn’t last

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton reveals he was so concerned about his second set of tyres in the Monaco Grand Prix he warned Mercedes they wouldn’t go the distance.

Hamilton made an early pit stop to swap his hyper-softs for ultra-softs, which meant he had to go 66 laps on his final set of tyres.

“I was telling them ‘these tyres aren’t going to last’,” he said. “I think I did two laps and more than two-thirds of the tyre was grained. It happened on the hyper [too]: I’m turning and the thing’s going towards the wall, it’s bad.

“I’m thinking ‘there’s no way this car is going to go 48 laps’. It’s already grained.

“When you’re driving you can look at the tyres and you see the different layers. Eventually half the tyre was lower than the outside of the tyre, like a whole level down. And then I could see the couple of lines you can see at the low end of the tread and you’re like ‘it’s getting pretty bald’. But it was still going.”

Despite his difficult race Hamilton said third place, and giving away just three points to closest championship rival Sebastian Vettel, was a good result.

“We never want to lose any points but we’ll definitely take that,” he said. “When I finished the race I was thinking it could be seventh, it could be fifth, it could’ve been much worse.

“If you look at last year I think we finished seventh here, it was a terrible weekend. So I think we had a much stronger weekend than last year.

“As I said I think coming into the weekend we truly believed we were the third quickest team here this weekend and we’ve finished third. So I’m super-happy that it’s not a bigger loss. To come to a race which is potentially one of our weakest out of two – probably our weakest, we’ll see when we come to Singapore – is definitely a positive.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, F1 newsTags ,

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  • 10 comments on “Hamilton told Mercedes his final set of tyres wouldn’t last”

    1. Indeed, he was on the radio so much in his second stint it felt like he was lining up Chris Evans’ job!

      He did well to keep his team informed about the condition of his tyres, but it got a bit much for me and I was surprised that the team didn’t ask him to concentrate on driving. The team can see the big picture with a lot more detail than any driver and were correct to keep batting away his concerns. With a pit stop they would’ve dropped to 5th at best and Hamilton pressuring them reminded me a lot of 2015 when his win slipped away with a poor pit call.

      1. They were probably happy he was occupying his mind with something. Lapping 9s slower than your true pace doesn’t really call deeply on the concentration of a top-tier F1 driver.
        The Monaco Grand Prix is not a race. I haven’t seen any reason to let it disrupt my weekend for a very long time.

      2. What you incorrectly assume is that FOM broadcast all, or even a proportional amount of radio messages.

        1. I’m well aware that they can’t broadcast all the messages and didn’t make any such assumption. My comment was around the high number of repetitive messages that Hamilton made… that’s not to say that other drivers weren’t saying the same, but the article is about Hamilton.

          1. Agreed this article is about Hamilton but he has no control over the number of his radio messages that were broadcast and I think the criticism is unwarranted.

    2. I still think he should’ve gone for the one remaining new set of supersoft he had (he had two entirely unused sets remaining for the race, one of the SS, and one of the hypersoft) like his teammate instead of the ‘used’ set of ultra-soft, which I assume was the same one he used for his first Q2 attempt.

      1. @jerejj Possibly the team should have put Hamilton on supersofts, although they deliberately split the strategy with Bottas going on to the supers. By the end of the race Bottas’ front tyres were in a similar condition, and he was not able to make an impression on Kimi – although he had probably cooked his fronts by catching up the 20sec gap post pit-stop.

    3. For years the Pirelli tires built with performance features that aided them in function. But to see Hamiltons graining problem along with the others as the race unfolded made me wonder did any Tire under grabbing during the race come apart ?? The ToroRossos Hypersofts just wouldn’t wear out.
      How does the ultimate performance of these hypersofts last when it should have destroyed itself? Another Pirelli mystery

    4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      30th May 2018, 1:06

      Wish he pitted!

      1. Me too

    Comments are closed.