Lewis Hamilton says he wants future race strategy calls “more in my hands” rather than relying on projections from computers and simulations after seeing a Mercedes calculating mistake cost him victory in the Formula 1 opener in Australia.

The reigning F1 world champion had been building a useful lead during the first stint of the Australian Grand Prix after responding to Ferrari’s call to pit Kimi Raikkonen early with Sebastian Vettel looking to apply pressure from third by pitting later.

Vettel benefitted from a timely virtual safety car which slowed his front-running rivals and enabled him to pit for fresh tyres and retain the lead ahead of Hamilton. Mercedes blamed a software bug for miscalculating its required time difference to Vettel to ensure Hamilton remained ahead when the Ferrari driver pitted under safety car conditions which left the British driver exasperated.

With no way past Vettel during the closing stages of the Australian GP, blamed for the lack of overtaking opportunities at Albert Park combined with the 2018 F1 cars producing turbulent air for cars following closely behind, Hamilton has urged a rethink into the Mercedes strategy by placing more trust in the drivers.

“It’s such a team effort but when you’re relying on so much computers, so much data, so much technology to come up with the strategy I wish it was down more to personnel,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know if that is the right saying but I wish it was more in my hands

“I feel I was driving as good as ever today. Really, really happy with how I was driving. Anyway, I will take that onto the next race, apply it exactly the same as I have this weekend and try to grow, try to grow within myself.”

Hamilton concedes his fate in second place looked set by calling Albert Park the second toughest F1 track to overtake at after Monaco.

“I love being here in Australia, I think it’s a really fantastic city and I love driving around Albert Park,” he said. “I am sure they could make adjustments to enable us to [overtake more], another DRS but it happens to be the second hardest track of all the 21 to overtake.

“If my best friend was on the edge of a cliff and I couldn’t get to him to save his life, that’s how hard it was to overtake. I couldn't for the life of me with all my might, all my abilities, all my tools, I just couldn’t get close enough.”

 

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