• Malaysian Grand Prix

Hamilton rues early pit stop

ESPNF1 Staff
April 10, 2011 « Whitmarsh continues as FOTA chairman | »
Lewis Hamilton looked quick on the soft tyres but struggled when he switched to hards © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton said his pit stop strategy put him on the back foot as he pitted earlier than his rivals and ended up with a four-stop race.

Hamilton got stuck behind Nick Heidfeld's Renault at the start of the race and pitted early in what looked like an attempt to find clear air. However, in doing so he pitted earlier than his competitors and then took on the hard compound at his second stop, which cost him lap time. High degradation eventually forced him into a fourth stop that dropped him from third to seventh by the end of the race.

"Through the race my tyres went off, we boxed [pitted] too early, and then we had to box earlier, so all the time we were boxing before everyone, and my tyres were done at the end unfortunately," he told the BBC. "The pit stop didn't help because that let Jenson by, but nonetheless it's one of those days and you just have to take it on the chin and move forward."

Hamilton also pointed the finger at the strategy McLaren put him on, saying that he should have stayed on the soft tyre for an extra stint.

"I stopped before everyone else and then the wrong tyres were put on," he said. "It was very poor strategy but there's nothing I can do."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that Hamilton's comments were in the heat of the moment, and that once he had analysed the race he would feel differently about the approach that the team took.

"Lewis said a few things straight after the race which were from his view in the cockpit," he said. "He's already smiling and laughing and when he looks back and sees the full picture I think he'll have a different opinion."