Formula 1
Dutch GP: Mercedes compound their problems on race day, George Russell retires

Dutch GP: Mercedes compound their problems on race day, George Russell retires

Mercedes had a terrible Dutch GP. Lewis Hamilton finished P6 and George Russell retired for the 3rd time in a Formula 1 race in 2023.
Mercedes had a mixed qualifying at the Dutch GP. However, they compounded their problems with wrong strategy calls in a chaotic start.

Mercedes endured a subpar Dutch GP in 2023. Coming into the weekend, everyone expected them to be fast around here. And they were. On Friday, Lewis Hamilton was among the pacesetters, although George Russell was struggling. However, this turned around on Saturday as Lewis Hamilton struggled and George Russell kept flying. Come the Formula 1 race on Sunday, Mercedes made a few horror calls to leave both their drivers down in the last 5.

A Hampered Start for Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was starting from P13 after a horrible qualifying session at the Dutch GP. He was the first one on the grid to start on the mediums which made him lose a place at the start. However, in a dry race, dividends would have come at the end of the stint.

However, chaos ensued as the heavens opened up at the Dutch GP. Everyone who had started out of position gambled on the inters immediately as the conditions were about to get worse. Mercedes opted to keep Lewis Hamilton out hoping for the rain to clear.

Mercedes had a terrible Dutch GP. Lewis Hamilton finished P6 and George Russell retired for the 3rd time in a Formula 1 race in 2023.

They pitted him eventually when it became clear that the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. However, a better call for the switch to slicks gave a new lease of life to Hamilton’s Dutch GP. He showed the pace he had on Friday and finished 6th, battling Carlos Sainz for 5th.

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George Russell’s Dream Saturday and Horror Sunday

After struggling on Friday, George Russell turned up on the Saturday of the Dutch GP like he so often has. He qualified P3 and maintained his position at the start. Mercedes expected the rain to cease and kept him out while Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso pitted. Despite leading the race then, he tumbled down to 18th, even behind his teammate.

A switch to hards followed, and it was a long stint. Another bout of rain at the end of the Dutch GP saved him a pitstop before his tyres started falling off. He was looking for a P7 finish behind Hamilton at the very least, before a puncture ended his race.

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Mercedes will reflect on their strategy calls during the Dutch GP. In such a chaotic race, big points were on the table, and they are going away with just a P6. A better showing at Monza will be a priority when Formula 1 returns.

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