Horner takes dig at Mercedes’ strategical ‘blunder’ to deny Lewis Hamilton record win at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton was in the midst of arguably his best race of the season as he led the track at the halfway stage in Silverstone.

His tyres had also shown very little degradation at this stage as he got to lap 33 on the medium compound.

However, Mercedes’ tactic of making him go for the safer hard instead of the fastest soft eventually cost Hamilton potentially an elusive eighth win at the British Grand Prix.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner felt that Mercedes made a tactical blunder.

“I was actually surprised that Lewis, with the amount of laps to go, and the degradation that he’s shown, didn’t take a soft,” Horner said.

“He went onto the hard tyre on lap 33 and I actually thought he was going to go on to the soft, because that would have made it much easier for him to make the offset in grip. It felt like they [Ferrari] have maybe been let off the hook there.”

Horner further questioned Ferrari’s strategy that saw Leclerc miss out on top honours.

“Everybody’s different aren’t they? Every team is different,” Horner said.

“I suppose that the call I understood least was not to pit both their cars, or certainly Charles, for the soft tyre [at the safety car].”

Hamilton and Mercedes had a tricky decision

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: autoweek.com

Horner explained Hamilton’s predicament at that stage.

“[Hamilton] obviously had a free stop,” said Horner.

“And when you’re the lead car, it’s the hardest thing in the world to pit from the lead.

“But I think even if Lewis would have stayed out, with the tyre advantage of the soft, they [Ferrari] would have repassed him.”

Horner admitted that as far as Max Verstappen was concerned, things could have been a lot worse.

Even though Verstappen ended the race P7, Leclerc was only 3 places ahead of him and in a sense, it was damage limitation.

“On a day where we’ve had two cars that were not in good shape at different points of the race, Sergio [Perez] has extended his lead over Charles, consolidating second place, and Max has only conceded six points to Charles,” he said.

“I think in the constructors we lost only 13 points. It could have been much worse.”

Read more: Toto Wolff over the moon after Red Bull, Ferrari ‘floor bending trick’ gets exposed by FIA

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