Lowe: Error blown out of proportion


Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by The News Editor

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Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe believes the strategic error which cost Lewis Hamilton victory in Monaco has been blown out of proportion.

World champion Hamilton looked set to seal his second win in Monaco last month before a late pit stop under safety car conditions saw him finish third behind his Mercedes team-mate and rival Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, neither of whom opted to stop.

But, speaking ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, Lowe said that Mercedes’ incorrect pit call should be judged in a wider context.

“There has been a great deal of comment concerning our mistake in Monaco and its consequences,” Lowe told the official Formula One website.

“On behalf of the team, this error should be put into context. It was a single error made in a split second based on incorrect data.

“Sport is all about split-second decisions, trading risk with reward, and we do not always get these decisions right. But in my opinion this team gets them right more than most.

“However, as in all aspects we must always improve, and the failure in Monaco will undoubtedly play its part in that process.”

Hamilton, who holds a 10-point lead over Rosberg in the current Formula One standings and a 28-point advantage over Vettel, was clearly bemused by the events in Monaco.

“You rely on the team. I saw a screen, it looked like the team was out and I thought that Nico had pitted,” Hamilton said after the race.

“Obviously I couldn’t see the guys behind so I thought the guys behind were pitting.

“The team said to stay out, I said ‘these tyres are going to drop in temperature’ and what I was assuming was that these guys would be on options and I was on the harder tyre, so they said to pit.

“Without thinking I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same.”

Hamilton plans an instant response at Montreal at a track where he has claimed three victories in the past.

“I just want to get back out there and bounce back – and I could hardly ask for a better place to do that than Montreal,” Hamilton said.

“This is always one of my favourite weekends. The racing is fantastic, the city is a lot of fun and the crowds are really enthusiastic.

“I haven’t always had the best of luck in Canada – but I’ve never finished off the podium there either and it’s given me some great memories, including my first win.”

McLaren pair Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, will have use of an upgraded Honda engine this weekend after the Japanese manufacturer confirmed it had elected to use some of its token allocation at Montreal.

It is unclear in which area Honda has elected to use two of its tokens, but it will likely be revealed in official FIA documentation this weekend.

“Canada is a power circuit, so we need more power,” Honda’s Formula One engine chief Yasuhisa Arai told Motorsport.com.

“But it is also a heavy stopping circuit, so braking and energy recovery is very important.

“I know that we need more power, but it is not so easy to get that.

“So it is how to deliver the MGU-K power for that kind of high-speed circuit.”

Ferrari will use three tokens at Montreal but has so far declined to elaborate on its exact plans with its upgraded engines.

Published: Tuesday 2nd June 2015 by The News Editor

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