Lewis Hamilton thinks it was not ‘a good idea at all’ to use DRS at Japanese Grand Prix

Sep 25, 2023 02:59 PM IST

Mercedes asked Hamilton to slow down to give George Russell DRS assistance, but Hamilton disagreed, finishing fifth.

Mercedes had responded to George Russell's request to opt for a DRS to keep Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz behind at the Japanese Grand Prix. Mercedes asked Hamilton to slow down in a bid to offer his teammate the DRS overtaking assistance in the closing laps of the Japanese Grand Prix. The decision, however, did not go down well with Hamilton who felt that it was "not a good idea at all" to provide Russell with DRS to resist Sainz’s Ferrari. The seven-time World Champion said that the situation turned out to be “very hard” for him in the final phase of the race.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton(AP)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton(AP)

"It made it very hard for me the last couple of laps. I didn't think that was a good idea at all. When they suggested it to me, I knew they'd thought of it from the last race. It made no sense, I needed to get as far ahead as possible and I was two seconds ahead and they asked me to come off the gas to give George DRS down the straight. Then he got DRS but then he got overtaken by [Sainz] which was gonna happen because he was on a one-stop. And then (Sainz) was right on my tail. Not ideal. It made it very hard for me the last couple of laps but a fifth and seventh is better than a sixth and seventh,” Hamilton said, as per BBC.

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The Japanese Grand Prix witnessed one of the most intense rivalries between the two Mercedes drivers—Lewis Hamilton and George Russell—in this season. The initial phase of the competition produced a scintillating battle between the two racers with Russell passing his teammate at the last corner before Hamilton re-positioning himself into Turn One. After a few laps, both went off track with Russell attempting to overtake Hamilton again at the Spoon Curve. The fierce competition between the two racers prompted Russell to ask on the radio, “Who do we want to fight here? Each other or the others?"

In response, Hamilton said, “We'll talk off line. It's the best way to do it. Ultimate goal is to try and get ahead of the Ferraris. And to beat them in the constructors' championship.”

Lewis Hamilton, eventually, finished fifth while George Russell secured a seventh-placed finish at the Japanese Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, on the other hand, carried forward his brilliance to claim the top spot at the Suzuka Circuit. Mercedes are currently in a fight for the second spot with Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings. Red Bull are comfortably placed atop the Constructors’ points table.

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