In the post qualifying press conference, McLarenâ€™s Lewis Hamilton looked dour as he explained â€œheâ€ had made a wrong choice in selecting to stay on the prime tire from Bridgestone during Q3 qualifying.After a bathroom break, he came back to the conference and promptly said; â€œI think we did make the right decision and it was the best tire I could have used, although at the time I didn’t think that. I’ve just looked at the data and it was the right decision. My engineer told me my decision was right.”Â Bold added for emphasis.
After the race today in the post-race press conference, Lewis had this to say;
â€œThe reason we went with a three stopper was due to Bridgestone being concerned as they thought the tire was going to fail like it did last year. Therefore, they made us do a three stop as it was the safest route to go. Unfortunately for us, that put us in not such a strong position to win the race. However, I am given a problem and I deal with it and so do the team and that’s why I still believe that we are the best. I really have to say a big thank you to the team who did a great job in all the pit stopsâ€.
â€œIt was not that they must do it. But we proposed a strategy of 20/18/20, if they took a two-stop strategy. That is what we would have preferred because the second stint is usually very severe, as you start at a very high level â€“ and also the fuel is very highâ€.
â€œNobody else has had a repetition of any of those problems this year, with the exception of Lewisâ€. In the case of Lewis Hamiltonâ€™s car, Bridgestone and the team had safety concerns which did influence his strategy; however he achieved a very good resultâ€.
Lewis also confounded reporters, and me, when he reportedly agreed to contribute $30,000 to the Formula One drivers’ union, despite still not wanting to become a GPDA member. He told reporters after qualifying that he actually did not donate any money, but earlier on Saturday he told the Mirror: “I am happy to put in the money. The money has never been the issue.”