Lewis Hamilton was pushing to complete a one-stop strategy during Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, but feared a tyre failure similar to last weekend’s British GP, which also took place at Silverstone, would end his race.
The Mercedes driver initially wanted to try and complete just the one stop in an effort to overhaul race winner Max Verstappen, as he had no answer to the Dutchman’s outright pace.
Hamilton went on to finish second after making a late second stop, agreeing the team’s call was correct given the high risk of tyre failures around the Silverstone circuit, given what happened a week earlier.
“I was trying to go for a one-stop but there was a lot of vibration with the tyres we had and I think that I didn’t know if the tyre was going to last if I was honest.
“Not just with the rubber but a rear tyre blow-out through a corner was too big a risk to take, that would have been end of race so I think it was a good decision by the team.
“I think I was trying to keep going, but there were a lot of laps to go and Max [Verstappen] at the end was doing like 1:29’s or something like that, 28’s, 29’s and I couldn’t do that on the old tyre so congratulations to him he did a fantastic job.”
Hamilton admitted he had no answer as to why his tyre degradation was higher than team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“I was trying to manage [the tyres]. I was trying to keep up with Valtteri to be honest and I was struggling – within about three laps with the rears – so yes, managing, but it wasn’t doing anything to help the issue.
“Then I started to lose ground to Valtteri so [I’ve] got to look into that as that’s rare for me.
“We haven’t had deg like this before. I don’t know what happened today, we’ve come here with the softer tyres which has made the racing more exciting as we said about the two-stop, part of me doesn’t want to propose we go with softer tyres moving forwards because maybe we’ll be in this position again but ultimately one-stop sucks, we should never be doing one-stops in this sport, it’s never been good watching as a fan, it makes it more exciting when there’s more.”