Tuesday 26 March 2013

Lewis Hamilton mistakenly pits in the wrong garage

Lewis Hamilton mistakenly pits in the wrong garage
Lewis Hamilton mistakenly pits in the wrong garage at the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday. McLaren’s pit box would have taken some resisting for Lewis Hamilton who was their F1 driver for 6 years until signing to Mercedes at the end of last season. It is understandably hard to break a bond of team loyalty after so many years, still harder if the colours of his former team’s overalls are more eye catching.

Whilst Petronas has optimised its branding across the pit building and track, its team and particularly pitstop mechanic overalls are not so visually arresting. Perhaps if Hamilton had seen a swarm of green in the pit lane, the margin for making such a pitstop error could have been lower?

To be fair to Hamilton, there's little to differentiate the pitboxes of the two teams apart from the mechanics livery. Distinguishing silver from white on approach is not easy under race pressure and Hamilton is resigned to picking out other distinguishing features like size, positioning and colour of decals to guide him.

In the case of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, the black lettering on silver is strikingly cool when viewed in isolation but comparatively it fares less well against McLaren's uniform. The band of red that makes up the Vodafone decal on McLaren's top is highly visible from all angles whereas the black letterform of Petronas doesn't have the same standout. In light of this, we should be a little forgiving of the former F1 McLaren driver for locking in too soon to the McLaren pit box.

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