Lewis Hamilton and George Russell slam Mercedes Dutch GP weather mishap

Jamie Woodhouse
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton opposite one another in the Mercedes garage. Spain June 2023

Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton pointed the finger at Mercedes for inaccurate weather information which derailed their races at Zandvoort.

The downpour arrived for the start of the race, but with Mercedes telling their drivers that it would ease up after just a couple of minutes, both drivers attempted to rough it out on the slick tyres.

The rain far exceeded that timescale though, with Hamilton and Russell dropping towards the back of the pack after the flurry of pit stops were complete as the track dried.

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton pin this one on Mercedes

车队老板托托沃尔夫已经承诺审查后Mercedes got it “catastrophically wrong”, an assessment which Russell was not arguing with.

“The race was over before it really got started,” he told media including PlanetF1.com after the Dutch Grand Prix.

“I think the information we had regarding the weather was totally wrong. We thought the rain was going to last for a couple of minutes and it clearly lasted for longer. So that was a real shame the podium was missed.

“As a team, we need to review, because we’re getting the information coming into us and misjudged the weather, so it’s not anything to do with racing or engineering, it was clearly just a weather misinterpretation and that ruined our afternoon.

“他们告诉我,这将是两分钟。和我could manage for two minutes in those conditions, but it just got heavier and heavier and lasted for 10 minutes. So it’s a joint effort, it was a real shame to be honest that it happened this way.

“So we really need to look into what happened, why the others decided to pit, what information they maybe had that we didn’t, and make sure we don’t make the same mistake again.”

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Russell later retired from the race after contact with Lando Norris left him with a puncture, while Hamilton was able to score a solid P6 finish, despite having “paid the price” for his team’s error at the start.

He was trying to look at the situation positively in regards to his fightback, though felt he had the pace to challenge for a top-two finish without that setback.

“As a team, we made the wrong decision,” he told Sky F1.

“Ultimately, it was the team’s call and we’ve paid the price for that, but then we came out last and I think after that, I just was chasing, kept my head down.

“I think it was a really good example of just like when you fall or stumble to get back up, keep trying, and every time I had to pit I came out behind and kept just chasing and chasing.

“I was really happy that I got past the McLaren [of Lando Norris] for example on this track, it’s not so easy to do and I was quicker than [Carlos] Sainz at the end, just needed to get DRS.

“I think today, I think I had the pace in the conditions, if we had made the right call, I had the pace to be challenging for the top two.”

Hamilton would have hoped to be leaving Zandvoort sitting P3 in theDrivers’ Championship, but with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso having scored a P2 finish, the Spaniard has instead stretched his buffer over Hamilton from one point to 12.

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