Lewis Hamilton downplayed Mercedes’ possible technical infringement in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, believing that the misdemeanor offered the team no advantage during the race.
Hamilton stormed to his seventh win of the season at Monza by 25 seconds, but the champagne remains on ice after the FIA stewards found that the pressure on his left-rear tire was 0.3 PSI below the minimum requirement.
In a statement issued by the stewards after the race, technical delegate Jo Bauer referred both Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to the stewards after finding that both of their cars were running their tire pressures too low.
Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Hamilton explained how the 0.3 PSI advantage would have meant next to nothing in terms of pace and would have offered no real benefit in the race.
“Yeah I don’t feel like celebrating right now,” Hamilton admitted. “I feel quite peaceful with myself either way. I did myself proud today, I think the team did themselves proud, and what we’ve achieved together as a team, no negative result can really affect that.
“Whilst it won’t be great if we were to lose those points today, 0.3 of a PSI on one left rear tire literally means nothing. It has hardly any effect. It might give you one corner more.
“It honestly makes no real difference. We didn’t get an advantage, that’s for sure.”
In a bid to raise the pressure on his tires in the closing stages of the race, Mercedes told Hamilton – already 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Sebastian Vettel – to push hard and put in some fast lap times.
“It didn’t feel great at the end because I’m thinking I’m ahead now I’ve just got to be sensible and bring the car home and look after the engine,” Hamilton explained. “And then everything changes and you have to start pushing. I’m thinking what could possibly be wrong that the guys would ask me in the last seven laps to push this much.
“I’m just doing what they said, I’m following orders, I’m going for it, kind of qualifying laps but not so much qualifying laps. At that point my tires have lost the best of their life so the car is sliding around more.
“I trust the team 1000% so I listen. But afterwards I’m like ‘guys what happened?’ It was like I was juggling and I was comfortable with three balls, but then you threw in another four balls and I didn’t really know what to do.”