Hamilton: I thought Ferrari made wrong call on tyres | 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he thought Ferrari had made a mistake by picking intermediate tyres for Q3 the instant he saw them.

Ferrari were the only team to begin Q3 on intermediates and had to pit immediately to replace them. Hamilton took pole position while championship rival Sebastian Vettel was only able to qualify ninth.

Hamilton said it was “very, very difficult” to know if the track conditions were going to be like for the final part of qualifying.

“We obviously haven’t done any practice in the wet and it looked like it was going to be wet for Q3. So it’s definitely not a great feeling when you go into Q3 knowing that you’ve had the pace to be at the front and knowing that mistakes can come in those tricky conditions, depending on how hard you push. But we’re all in the same boat.

“We remained in the garage, we said we should probably sit here and wait for someone else to go out first. The Ferraris pulled out of the garage on the inters and I honestly didn’t think it was the right decision. Obviously we made the right decision as a team.”

Daniel Ricciardo said he was surprised by Ferrari’s decision and suggested it was motivated by their position in the championship.

“Maybe if I was trying to defend them I would say they’ve kind of not got much to lose now and the gap to Lewis is quite big so if it did pay off, if it started [raining hard], they’re likely to be the cars on the front row.

“So maybe it was a risk they needed to take. If they weren’t thinking of this attacking, aggressive approach then it was a strange decision.”

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2018 F1 season

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