The thing is, here I think Lewis was fine with the tyres he was on and may not have particularly wanted to pit, therefore it's ok for Jenson to pit. But from what I had gathered from Australia was that Jenson was ok on his tyres and didn't want to pit but Lewis was really struggling at the end of stint and they still didn't let him pit.
This either means:
a. that they are very very very very biased to Jenson
b. that they leave give the lead driver priority but the following driver can choose to pit if the leading one doesn't- and that Lewis chose not to pit in Australia
c. that they kept Lewis out in Australia because they thought it would work out better overall if he managed another couple laps on those tyres.
I really hope that it was option c
I thought Aus was a pretty straightforward unbiased situation. Can't remember the exact laps from memory, but whilst they did start losing time to the following cars, the lap times still looked good (with just a tenth drop-off) considering the gap they had back to 3rd. Then both Jense and Lewis dropped half a second, a clear sign that the tyres were about to go. At which point Jense pitted the next lap, with track advantage/priority meaning Lewis could either queue behind him, or pit next lap. The latter option was chosen, but I'd be surprised if there was much difference in time (e.g. 3 seconds lost on the extra lap vs 3 seconds lost queuing). Yes, if Lewis had stopped a lap earlier than Jenson, then he'd be better off, but there really didn't seem to be the hard evidence to demonstrate that was the way to go (at the time).
I really think we're in the same situation at the moment as we were last year at this stage. There really just isn't enough information about the revised spec tyres in combination with the new aero performance for proper planning to be made. Last week, this was exaggerated by poor weather in free practice, this week it was exaggerated by poor weather in the race. I'm confident once the first four or so races are out of the way, and hopefully, at least one "NORMAL" race, the decisions will be better made.
As for this week in particular. Yes, Jenson / his RE made the better calls early on, but they had the job of trying to take the lead. Lewis / his RE had the lead, and were working with a mindset of how do we keep this lead / minimise the chance of someone else taking it. Earlier radio clearly had Lewis asking what everyone else was doing, not so much what can we do. (and yes, I know this coverage is limited, and accept this isn't conclusive proof either way
). There was a general sense of submission on Lewis' part, and he seemed moderately happy with the outcome.
Out of interest, the general consensus seems to be Lewis made no mistakes today. From what I remember, Lewis overrun his first pitstop by about a foot?
Anyway, there's a lot of racing to come, and it's very good to see just how many different competitors there are lining up behind McLaren. I think it means they can likely win it as a team this year without perfect results (thank god!
), but does mean the actual WDC will come down to most consistent or possibly spectacular McLaren team member. I may have to stay away from this thread, I have a feeling it will become quite uncomfortable