Mercedes technical director James Allison said the team didn’t respond quickly enough to the threat posed by Sebastian Vettel switching to a one-stop strategy in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ferrari originally planned to bring Vettel into the pits twice on what was theoretically the faster strategy. Mercedes chose to put Valtteri Bottas on a one-stop strategy, switching him to the harder medium tyres after Vettel’s first stop.
However Allison admitted they then took a while to realise Ferrari had decided to let Vettel run to the end on his soft tyres.
“We were probably a little bit too slow to recognise the threat that Sebastian was actually going to take those soft tyres all the way to the flag,” he said.
“Had we been slightly quicker to react to it we probably would have kept more pressure on him in the laps 35 to 45 and we might have had a better outcome as a result. We expected him to stop again but he did very well in nursing those tyres all the way to the flag.”
Allison also indicated its drivers could have run the soft tyres to the end of the race if it had chosen to.
“The tyre wear of our car this year has been very good and in general better than the field.
“Whether specifically we could have made the soft tyres last the number of laps Sebastian did we would only know by trying. My guess is we would because our car is looking after its tyres very well in the races this year.”
2018 F1 season
- ‘It doesn’t matter if we start last’: How Red Bull’s junior team aided Honda’s leap forward
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed