Sky commentators question Mercedes strategy: “Why change in the first place?”

Mercedes’ decision to order George Russell to let Lewis Hamilton through at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix was questioned by Sky TV commentators.
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Japan,
George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Russell was ordered to let his illustrious teammate pass, with four laps to go at Suzuka, despite making it clear via team radio that he disagreed with the call.

Anthony Davidson commented on Sky: “[Hamilton] was falling back from Charles Leclerc. It leaves Russell massively vulnerable.

“I think Russell was right.”

Ted Kravitz added: “Mercedes have created this problem.”

Carlos Sainz then overtook Russell.

Kravitz said: “Why make the change in the first place?”

Davidson said: “I think they were worried that Carlos would find his way past Hamilton and then do this to George, without DRS, it would have been even easier. 

“They were looking at it from the worst case scenario.

“George was looking at it like: ‘Let me stay in front, I’ve got Lewis covered, he’s got Carlos covered, he’s got better tyres than me, he’s getting a better exit from the chicane than I’ll have at this stage of the race - there’s more risk of me getting overtaken than Lewis’.”

Max Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix. Hamilton was fifth, Sainz sixth, Russell seventh.

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