Hamilton considered one-stop as Mercedes struggled with 'balloon' tyres

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Lewis Hamilton admits he did consider trying a one-stop race before pitting and recovering to P2 at Silverstone on Sunday.

Mercedes' dominant start to the season came to a halt at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, as heavy blistering meant he and teammate Valtteri Bottas had no answer to the pace of race winner Max Verstappen.

Though Pirelli had brought one step softer compounds for the second Silverstone race, Hamilton believes it was another change that the Italian supplier made which hurt the Brackley-based team more. 

"Not that I know of at the moment, but I'm sure the team will be working as hard as they can because we've not had that before," the world champion said of the tyre issues the team had.

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"I would imagine most likely is obviously Pirelli was struggling with tyre failures last week. So then they just put the pressures up and up and up and up.

"They're balloons now, they're the highest pressures we've ever had on a track like that," he claimed.

"I wouldn't be surprised if that was a thing for us, but I don't know if anyone else struggled with blistering as we had so it's something we'll look into."

Despite Mercedes' tyre problems, Hamilton was still able to put in an extended middle stint which enabled him to finally unleash the performance of the W11 and pass Charles Leclerc and teammate Bottas for second.

"I'm really grateful to have progressed and managed to just get my way through the race," he said.

"I think right at the end I had blistering again but I'd been pushing pretty heavily to catch the guys.


"That second stint, I was managing like you couldn't believe. I was managing to the best of my ability but it just didn't make a single difference to that blistering.

"At the end, I was just driving with half a tyre basically. If you look in the mirrors, one half was bald and the other side was okay, so it held together, but of course, I was nervous it was going to explode or something."

Those fears though didn't stop Lewis considering the gamble of continuing on a one-stop.

“I was thinking should I stay out but I knew I couldn’t have matched Max’s times at the end, so he probably would have caught me," he said.

“The tyre might have blown out too, and if the rear goes then it’s a crash into the wall so it was a good decision by the team [to pit again].”