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Jenson Button insists Lewis Hamilton was “unbelievably unlucky” to finish behind George Russell at the Miami Grand Prix. Russell had shown the better pace of the two Mercedes drivers earlier in the weekend on Friday.
But it was Hamilton who was able to get the better result in qualifying with the seven-time world champion starting P6 while Russell was down in P12. The huge gap between the two drivers was made even bigger at the start with Russell struggling to find pace in the hard tyres.
Hamilton, driving on the mediums like every other driver around him, also dropped back behind Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly before quickly regaining his original position. But the hard tyre soon came into play when the mediums began to wear away and Russell was soon behind Hamilton on the track.
He still needed to pit for fresh tyres though while Hamilton had already come in for his hard compound. Russell was then given a lifeline to jump up the grid in the closing stages when Lando Norris’ big crash brought out a Safety Car.
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The young Brit dove into the pits for fresh mediums and he was then on the back of his team-mate. After a few laps of close battling, Hamilton was eventually powerless to stopping Russell passing through to take P5.
It’s still a strong result for Mercedes after a difficult few races for Hamilton, but Button feels the 37-year-old will be disappointed at not beating his team-mate. When asked whether he felt Hamilton was unlucky again today, Button said: “Unbelievably unlucky.
“He says that he hasn’t been lucky with strategy, to be fair everyone was on the same strategy as him – except for his team-mate. Really tough for Lewis today and in that decision-making it is really difficult.
“You’re under pressure and the team is saying, ‘oh you’ll lose places’. But I don’t wanna lose places. But really tough for him because he’s had good pace this weekend.”
Hamilton did have a chance to come into the pits during the Safety Car period as well, but opted to stay out after a conversation with his team. And the seven-time world champion was a bit confused as to why the decision was handed to him at that point of the race.
“In that scenario, I have no clue where everyone is,” Hamilton said. “So when the team say it’s your choice, I’m like ‘I don’t have the information to make the decision’.
“That’s what your job is [smiling]. Make the decision for me. You’ve for all the details and I don’t. That’s what you rely on and today they gave it to me and I didn’t understand it.”
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