Title awaits Hamilton after surprise win in third-fastest car

2019 Mexican Grand Prix review

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The nature of Formula 1 being what it is, races are normally won by the driver in the fastest car.

For much of the past six seasons, Lewis Hamilton has been in the fortunate position of having that, thanks to Mercedes. But lately Ferrari have begun to show them the way – in Mexico they took their sixth pole position in a row.

While the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a venue where Mercedes have not excelled in recent years, Red Bull have shone on the unusual track which mixes long straights with slow corners at very high altitude. Max Verstappen, winner of the previous two races at the track, was quickest of all in qualifying.

So for once Mercedes and Hamilton went into a race knowing that two of their rivals were quicker. Yet, in a remarkable turnaround, Hamilton came out on top again, and made his sixth worth championship a virtual certainty.

For that to happen, three drivers had to get out of his way.

Verstappen: Starting on the back foot

Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Ferrari stayed ahead at the start
Verstappen won pole position, then he lost it.

He was quickest after the first runs in Q1. During the second runs, Valtteri Bottas crashed his Mercedes, which came to a stop against the TecPro barrier at turn 17. The moment the marshal at the scene waved the yellow flag, pole was Verstappen’s.

The warning wasn’t automatically relayed to the electronic timing system, and then to the drivers’ cockpits, because the impact severed a crucial data cable. But, because of this very possibility, a waved yellow flag carries the same force in the rules as a yellow light panel.

Hamilton passed by the scene before the flag came out, but didn’t set a time quick enough for pole position. The only two drivers left, Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen, would both have to pass the yellow flag, and would both then have to lift off – meaning Verstappen would take pole.

But while Vettel lifted off, Verstappen kept his foot in, and improved his time. His carefully-worded, ambiguous answers in the official press conference left it unclear whether he’d seen the yellow flag and ignored it, or just not seen it. Either way, it meant a three-place grid penalty.

That created an all-Ferrari front row – Charles Leclerc ahead of Vettel – and moved Hamilton ahead of Verstappen. The Mercedes driver fought hard to retain that advantage on lap one.

Start, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Hamilton and Verstappen tangled
When the lights went out Hamilton got away well, better than Vettel, but the Ferrari driver immediately squeezed him onto the grass. While Vettel followed Leclerc into turn one, Verstappen dived down the inside of Hamilton.

The Red Bull driver was fully ahead in the braking zone for the corner and still had his nose ahead at the apex. He allowed Hamilton room at the exit, but their rear wheels touched which pitched Hamilton sideways. Unable to swing his car left for turn two the pair tangled again and took to the grass. As they rejoined Alexander Albon and Carlos Sainz Jnr passed the pair of them, while Verstappen lost a further place to Bottas.

Verstappen clearly had a quick car under him and was fired up by another setback to his weekend. Despite his frustration, his attempt to wrest seventh place off Bottas was a superbly-judged opportunistic move. That it resulted in a puncture for the Red Bull driver was plain bad luck, as was the fact he had already driven past the pit lane entrance before it materialised. Scratch one of Hamilton’s rivals from the fight for victory.

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Leclerc: Stopped too soon

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Leclerc led but strategy error left him off the podium
Two weeks earlier at Suzuka, Ferrari had squandered their front-row lock out, and from halfway around lap one it seemed unlikely they were going to win. In Mexico they successfully held their positions at the start, leaving them well-placed to head off any strategic move from their rivals.

But the sheer speed of the remaining Red Bull put them under pressure. While Vettel kept within range of Leclerc, but cautious of getting close enough to damage his tyres, third-placed Albon was threateningly close, less than a second behind at times.

On lap 14 Red Bull succumbed to the temptation of an early pit stop. Friday had shown graining was going to be a problem as usual, and they were convinced a two-stop strategy would be the way to go. A second set of C3 medium tyres was fitted to Albon’s car, and he was on his way.

Albon came out of the pits behind Sainz. This appeared to be in Red Bull’s plan: Albon’s pit stop was only three-tenths of a second slower than the best of the race, so they must have expected he would emerge behind the McLaren. What they didn’t predict was that Sainz would prove so tricky to pass.

“I was a bit confused because I didn’t think I was racing Carlos,” Albon admitted after the race. “And I don’t think we were.” Red Bull presumably expected he would clear Sainz quickly enough that he would still be a threat to Vettel.

Ferrari were clearly concerned that he would be. But with Vettel so close to Leclerc, pitting him would create a likelihood he would get ahead of his team mate, reversing their running order. Seemingly unwilling to risk this, Ferrari called Leclerc in.

This proved a considerable misjudgement. Albon had lost so much time behind Sainz that Leclerc was actually under little threat from the Red Bull – he came out of the pit some eight seconds ahead.

Worse for Leclerc, he was now locked into a two-stop strategy just as their rivals were beginning to realise a single stop was possible. Worse still, Leclerc found his new set of mediums were not performing as well as his first set. He told his team on the radio they felt “quite different than the previous ones”. From then on he seldom looked like having the pace to join the fight at the front.

Vettel: Stopped too late

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Revenge for Singapore: Hamilton undercut Vettel
Having both cars at the front of the field puts a team in the luxury position of being able to cover off both of the likeliest strategy options. Ferrari may have been wrong-footed by Albon with Leclerc, but they still had Vettel out front, extending his opening stint on soft tyres, preparing to pit just once.

However when to make that sole pit stop proved trickier than usual given the patch information on the performance of the hard tyre. Hamilton was closing on Vettel, but Ferrari were wary of putting the hard tyres on too soon and running out of tyre life at the end of the race.

Worn hard tyres are particularly vulnerable when their temperature drops. Mercedes, however, had a back-up plan. Hamilton and Bottas had each saved a spare set of fresh soft tyres. If they found themselves vulnerable on worn tyres late in the race and a VSC or Safety Car was called in the final laps, they would be able to fit softs and attack.

They were also keeping a close eye on the progress of Daniel Ricciardo, the only driver who had started the race on a set of hard tyres. His lap times were holding up well and he’d risen from 13th on the grid to sixth.

On lap 23 they brought Hamilton in. This was riskily early, committing him to 48 laps on the hard tyres. But it also put Ferrari in a jam: As soon as Hamilton rejoined the track they realised they could no longer pit Vettel and get him out ahead of the Mercedes. At first they told Vettel to pit, but he suggested the team “let him go”, and before the end of the lap they agreed; they didn’t have much of a choice.

Ferrari remained hopeful that Hamilton would, eventually have to pit a second time. That hope faded as the race went on. Vettel eventually made his pit stop 14 laps after Hamilton, but the benefit of fresher tyres didn’t help him to attack when he closed on the Mercedes, even with the SF90’s straight-line speed advantage.

The final laps set up what might have been an exciting spectacle: Hamilton nursing his worn tyres at the front, Vettel closing, followed by Bottas and the two-stopping Leclerc, the latter on the freshest tyres of all. But none could get close enough to seriously attack for the lead.

Perez thrills home crowd

Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
Perez equalled his best home finish with seventh
The speed Verstappen showed on his way through the field to sixth place showed he would have been a contender for victory had it not been for his puncture. He came home ahead of Sergio Perez, who thrilled his home crowd as he took a ‘class win’.

Given what went on in Japan Daniel Ricciardo would have dearly loved to put one over the Racing Point driver, whose team got both Renaults thrown out at Suzuka. But his attempt to dive down the inside of Perez at turn one failed – Perez told him afterwards the move might have stuck if he was still in a Red Bull.

From seventh and eighth on the grid, neither McLaren driver scored points. A pit stop error ruined Lando Norris’s race, while Carlos Sainz Jnr struggled terribly after switching to hard tyres.

Nico Hulkenberg held ninth as his final lap began, but his tyres were badly worn and Daniil Kvyat was all over him. On their last tour Kvyat had a look at him at turn 16, but tagged the Renault and sent it spinning into a wall. The inevitable penalty, which Kvyat railed against, dropped the Toro Rosso driver out of the points. Pierre Gasly inherited ninth ahead of Hulkenberg, who crossed the finishing line without his rear wing.

Another driver who couldn’t make the hard tyres work was Lance Stroll, who dropped out of the points places in the second half of the race.

The Williams pair had their usual struggle, livened up by Robert Kubica launching a move on George Russell at turn six, his team mate having run wide two corners earlier. The startled Russell had to give way, though he gained the place back when a puncture forced Kubica into the pits. Had it not been for that, both Williams would have led home Romain Grosjean, the Haas driver struggling at what is usually the team’s weakest venue.

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Hamilton: Nine fingers on the trophy

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019
An even greater prize surely awaits Hamilton
A sixth world championship victory is almost assured for Hamilton following his 10th win of the year. He may have expressed doubts about his strategy more than once during the race, but his stand-in race engineer Marcus Dudley and the rest of the team read the day’s proceedings perfectly.

On a weekend when they didn’t have the best car, they ensured they were in position to take advantage if the cards fell in their favour. Remarkably, it happened. And then it happened again. And then again.

Mercedes could easily have left Mexico without getting either car on the podium. Instead they walked off with a one-three. Red Bull and Ferrari will be kicking themselves after that one.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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58 comments on “Title awaits Hamilton after surprise win in third-fastest car”

  1. Oh that headline is gonna trigger some people who can’t handle it

    1. Haha yep, exactly what I thought!!

    2. The headline is trolling for clicks.

      No credit to Bottas only 1 place behind Lewis in a ‘slow’ Mercedes? Albon will lose his seat if his car is 2nd fastest.

      1. You can’t argue the Merc was 3rd fastest in qualifying trim. A Merc could maybe have snatched a 3rd place on the grid with a near-perfect lap, but only because Seb didn’t quite maximise his lap either.

        As for the race, it was harder to judge because of what happened to Max, but I think Red Bull had the best race pace (at least in Max’s hands) and then it was fairly even between Merc and Ferrari for pace.

        Ability to manage tyres and track position were the keys here. If Seb had stayed in front of Lewis after the stops, they’d have finished in that order too. So it’s perfectly fair to say Merc had the 3rd best car for the weekend when taking both qualifying and race pace into account.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          29th October 2019, 0:47

          You can’t – that’s why two Ferraris and a Red Bull qualified ahead of him. In terms of race pace, Mercedes weren’t the 3rd fastest car.

    3. I’ve got my popcorn.

      A visual representation of incoming individuals

  2. It’s amazing that Ferrari apparently didn’t even consider a 1 stop strategy.

    That’s probably the biggest strength of Mercedes strategy. They consider everything and when the race develops they include even lessons they learn from other cars during the race. Like from Ricciardo going for a long stint on hard tyres.

    1. I wouldn’t say considering everything is a strength of Mercedes so much as not considering everything is a weakness of Ferrari. Only considering 1 strategy is just … yikes. Looking at all the options should be something that every team does as standard, Mercedes strategic strength is how well they do that.

      1. Mercedes also ran Bottas pretty long on Friday on the hards, so they had pretty good data that they could correlate with Ricciardo’s lap times.

      2. @hugh11 At some races, Mercedes was able to predict almost exactly when Ferrari would hit trouble with their tires. That’s a strength to me. Otherwise agree with your comments, Ferrari is not agile enough both for considering more strategies and reacting to what is going around them. There is no more option than A, B and C discussed before the race.

        Mercedes handling of big data and their analysis proves to be handy. In my view this is also one key of their success and that they make the most of the situation more often than not. A well oiled machinery.

    2. @f1osaurus

      Remember when their strategy failed twice earlier in the season? Remember why? Various computer software they were running was found to have the same bug in it.
      Once the computer programmers had reprogrammed the computers, the drivers received near perfect instructions.
      Computers are running (and ruining) the show. Oh and we only know half of it.
      Credit to Lewis as he hates not being able to race and keeping more power in reserve for the sake of the software. He would be perfect for Moto GP

      1. @bigjoe

        I don’t think they found a bug – that implies an error in coding, rather than in what they intended the program to do. As far as I know the code didn’t have the error, the model encoded was wrong.

        I don’t share your concerns about technology, but I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the testing limits are too low, leading to increased computer simulation costs, and increased reliance on models. There’s a lot of middle ground between the current regime and unlimited testing.

        1. @Dave

          Good points.
          Good old fashioned testing would be great. I’ve heard someone suggest not having qualifying and do testing instead with evenly equipped cars over the weekend. Grid can be how they finished last race.

      2. @bigjoe Only bug they had was in calculating pit stop time during a safety car or VSC situation.

    3. I don’t think Lewis first stop was initially thought to be his last…

      1. Despite the pundits’ frenzied attempts to create purely speculative talking points, I’m afraid it was always obvious. Pirelli predicted that the hard tyres would do about 50 laps, which meant, because it’s always an approximation, that careful driving could get maybe 55-60 laps out of them.

        Hamilton pitted two or three laps early, because he wanted to try the undercut. It wasn’t ten laps early, or anything like, it was just short of the optimum one-stop strategy.

        This was, by some margin, Ferrari’s stupidest decision of the year. You don’t pit the leader to cover off the man in third, particularly when it means two-stopping in a one-stop race.

        It reminds me of one of those technical endgames in chess, where one player is supposed to win, but has to play the correct way to do so. For good players, those situations are easy, but for rubbish players like me they take careful concentration to ensure no blunders that throw away the win – crucially, there’s nothing the opponent can do to stop it, absent blundering. Starting first and second, Ferrari just had to move the pieces in the right order to guarantee a win.

        At this point, Ferrari should seriously consider abandoning tactics altogether, and simply one-stopping at preset optimal times – it would at least achieve par, most of the time.

        1. I do believe part of this is hindsight, for sure.
          At the beginning of the race, looking at everyone’s pace and analyzing the weekend, it did seem very possible that Alex Albon was a real contender for the win. And everyone was talking 2-stop, maybe even 3-stop before the race.
          So when Albon pitted, the undercut possibility wasn’t simply imaginary. That’s what you get when basically 6 cars have very similar race pace – one decision leads to the other, and so on.
          So, considering Albon a real threat and the 2-stop the norm for the race, both realistic assumptions at that point, of course you have to react with the lead car. If you call in Vettel first to cover it, Leclerc might have lost track position and ended up behind his team mate. So the pit stop for Leclerc is understandable at that point – what wasn’t is to put on mediums. If they had put on the hards, they would leave themselves with much more options, including finishing the race – that would have been Ferrari race win right there.
          So the pitting wasn’t wrong, it was the tyre choice.

          Basically, the way things panned out, the first one to stop was likely to win the race. If Hard was the tyre of choice.

          Lewis got lucky in the sense that Ferrari didn’t keep the option of maybe one-stopping after all.
          There was nothing Vettel could have done, though. They believed the tyres were vulnerable, and they were wrong. And they would have lost track position by following Lewis into the pits, the next round. So then you kind of have to put your hope towards a cliff appearing. Danny Rics performance evaporated that hope.

        2. At this point, Ferrari should seriously consider abandoning tactics altogether, and simply one-stopping at preset optimal times – it would at least achieve par, most of the time.

          That would be exactly my way of thinking.

  3. I’m so frustrated with Ferrari that I’m not even angry anymore I just giggle at the misfortunes that they put on themselves.

    I’m willing to forgive going with two stop strategy with leclerc, but why put the medium tyre first and not hard?! Comfortably ahead of Albon, and that way he did the mandatory tyre switch rule. And just when he works hard enough to make the strategy look marginally better he squanders it with a lock up.

    Vettel was uninspiring at all and should’ve kept Hamilton behind given that he had the benefit of clean air for most of the race, AND had the faster car.

    Mercedes really got it right here and Hamilton followed their plan perfectly, proved that they deserve the championship this year

    1. Ipsom

      Faster car in qualifying only. Mercedes also have more in reserve.

      1. True Mercedes have better race pace, but Ferrari could/should have won

    2. I’m willing to forgive going with two stop strategy with leclerc, but why put the medium tyre first and not hard?!

      Because he didn’t get into Q3 on hards.

      1. If you mean on his second stop, I am assuming they were leaving open all options, i.e. going much longer and going onto softs at the end.

  4. What taints many of these Hamilton victories is that he always sounds so unsure and confused with his team and their strategy. If anything its the team that should be heaped with praise not any individual. Its not as though he went against orders and came up with a brilliant drive all by himself, if he’d had it his way he’d have pitted again.

    1. @jenson
      Over at the LH Fan Club, they reckon it’s all a bluff with Ferrari falling for it.

  5. Verstappen had freakishly bad luck this weekend, the yellow flag incident, very bad timing (although he should have lifted) and then to get that puncture where he did was really unfortunate.

    1. Sorry but this weekend , as many others, Verstappen made his own “luck”..

      1. @vaiosp

        Yeah sure like the one where he and Norris chose the same line through turn one on the opening lap. Verstappen was branded an idiot and Norris a hero. Just goes to show the extent of the egos that follow F1.

        1. @vaiosp

          Yeah sure like the one where he and Norris chose the same line through turn one on the opening lap. Verstappen was branded an idi@t and Norris a hero. Just goes to show the extent of the egos that follow F1.

    2. Nothing freakish about it. He made some very poor decisions. The only one that might be overlooked could be the clash with Hamilton, the rest were all significant “driver error”.

    3. There is no such thing as bad luck its just the outcome of decisions made earlier. In this case Max Verstappen voluntarily decided to break yellow flag rule in qualifying, it was his mistake leading to him driving over the front wing of Perez. If anything his decisions however shortsighted they were yeilded results that they were supposed to.

  6. I’m really impressed with Hamilton and Mercedes the second half of this season. Hamilton has three hard fought, scrappy, victories since Hungary. Plus Bottas with his opportunistic (or fantastically lucky) win in Japan. Yes they might have had the best car during several raced, but they still had to fight past the Ferrari’s

    Ferrari and Red Bull must be really frustrated.

    It bodes well for next year, since we know Merc will, like Red Bull, bring a good fight to every race,even if they don’t look fast enough to win.

    1. @slotopen

      Ferrari and Red Bull must be really frustrated.

      Haha, that will be an understatement soon!
      Many of us fans are starting to feel how tiring it must be for RB or Ferrari. Something/someone has to explode soon.
      I guess the shake-up in 2021 keeps them optimistic.

  7. Mercedes are by far the best team. It’s an insult to the chaps at Brackley to claim Ferrari engineers and mechanics are better than they are.
    I’ve started to listen to BBC 5 live for the races as I like the commentary team’s style. Race after race the experts are highlighting Mercedes’ superior race pace.

    1. Agreed. Although I think race pace is Mexico was as even as it has been up to now. The Mercs had a bigger sunday advantage throughout the last races since the summer break.

    2. Go look at the actual lap charts there was pretty much no pace difference between Ferrari and Mercedes during the race, Ferrari had the edge in qualifying over Mercedes and left an open door for Mercedes with the strategy they went with in the race.
      Even if a team overall has done the best job based on the entire year it doesn’t mean they automatically have the best car for every track, and definitely does not mean things can’t swing the other way later in the season, F1 has always been that way. Ferrari and Mercedes were pretty much equally matched on sunday. If Hamilton did not fight Verstappen as hard as he did the result most likely would have been completely different, Red Bull overall had the best car over the whole weekend and Verstappen threw it all away.

      After seeing your posts about Hamilton I knew 100% the title of this article would trigger you lol.

      1. I maintain my opinion that had Hamilton or Alonso driven the Ferrari in 2017, 2018 & 2019 they could and in all probability would have won the drivers championship.

        1. If Alonso was at Ferrari it would still be a midfield team with squabbles, like how McLaren was up until this season
          Oh wait…

          1. Highly respected people at giants Toyota and Andretti Racing, said that was untrue and they couldn’t believe how well FA got on with people in their teams. Also stating he knew many of the personnel already lol
            Toyota did admit things get ‘hot’ on the radio. Then again 24 hours….

  8. You must have missed the last few race commentaries then as they were all about Hams superior skills, Bottas reactions, team strategy calls, etc. Borne out by the subsequent 5live podcasts and articles which all followed the same theme.

    Maybe you should stop spouting nonsense thats so easily disproved?

    1. You’re literally talking to a brick wall there, the guy has a vendetta just look at his profile. Spamming old dead articles with comments to try to “win” every anti-Hamilton discussion he has started.

    2. @riptide

      That’s the BBC headline writers socially conditioning you. The 2 commentators on 5 live claimed Merc had the best race pace at Monza whilst the BBC website, this and other LH biased sites all claimed it was his skill.

      of Leclerc at Monza ‘and what’s incredible, he’s done it by beating the car with the faster race pace’

      “Spamming old dead articles”

      Nope they don’t look dead. They are getting 1000’s of views still. Racefans message sections come up high on google searches too.
      What’s the prize by the way? I think the anon comments getting visibly upset every time someone sheds LH in a lower light speaks volumes of ‘my wins’

  9. And Max lost it in the Fastest car (in both qualifying and race trim). He became so impatient to pass the cars ahead at the first corner. We have seen how Lewis tried to avoid contact with Vettel both at the start when Vettel squeezed him onto the grass and then at Turn 2. To avoid Vettel he was on the grass. We dont see this kind of contact-avoidance from Max. In fact he is ready to make contact with anyone who dares challenges him.
    Max needs to learn quick how to avoid crash and be patient. Austria is an example where he fell so far behind at the start yet won the race. I am pretty sure Max would have been 1st ot 2nd at the end even if he has fallen back to p5 at the start. Look at where he is in WDC now. An ordinary 5th. And after the first half of the season he looked like a sure bet for the 2nd place in the WDC.

  10. Oh my :) although I really respect Hamilton, this game of the British media has become really awkward. Ferrari and Red Bull have improved in the qualifying runs and are generally quick over one lap, but Mercedes is still a team to beat when it comes to race trim – their pace is superior in most of the races, and even when they haven’t won (like in Monza, Spa or on track in Canada), their opponents were really struggling to keep them behind. Hardly anything has changed in comparison to the first half of the season, the suggestion that Hamilton is beating his opponents from a position comparable to Ferrari 2012 (the third fastest car) is comical and dillutes reality.

  11. I don’t see why the hype to Leclerc and the cricticism to Bottas. Apparently Bottas in a worst car is able to finish regularly in front of Leclerc.

    That or Mercedes is faster in race conditions. A car being fast in race conditions and a different one in race is pretty common in F1, for example in the most dominating season of Ferrari-Scumacher, 2002, Montoya had seven poles.

    It’s easy to look a brilliant strategist when the car is faster in race pace, or when the car brokes much less than the others. Or when the car wears tyres much slower.
    The ones who say Ferrari pitted early with Leclerc and later with Vettel assuming they should have gone to one stop putting the same time as Hamilton:
    – Do you know for sure that Ferrari tyres would be able to go to the end in good condition?

    1. I really wouldn’t be surprised if at this point Bottas is a better driver than Leclerc, even if Leclerc is possibly going to go on to great things.

      The normal things young drivers have to learn aren’t outright pace, but consistency, strategy, and racecraft. Bottas doesn’t seem to have quite as much outright pace as the very fastest drivers, but he’s incredibly consistent and makes very few poor decisions. That’s exactly the kind of driver who will finish ahead of an exciting young talent, most weeks.

      The terrible tactical calls Ferrari keep making do tend to very strongly indicate that they have the fastest car, because they’re throwing away _wins_.

      As for the tyres, there was never any reason to doubt that the hard tyres would do fifty-plus laps, in line with what Pirelli said.

  12. It’s great to see people here are seeing past the “headline”
    Mercedes have better race pace, from my understanding that means they can perform better with heavier fuel and nurse those tyres for longer,
    Despite what anyone says in the current F1 a one stop is much better than a two stop unless the advantage is around 3 seconds a lap
    But hey, we know the Merc strategists are the best in the world and Ferrari uses a slot machine to pick out their strategies (has nothing to do with the individual cars strength and weaknesses)

    1. Ferrari seem to have forgotten the golden rule: the wrong strategy loses you the race a lot more easily than the right one wins it. If you’re starting 1-2, don’t mess around with edgy strategies, just bank the win with the conservative one-stop.

      1. And if you didn’t do simulations with the Hard tyres on long runs like Bottas did for Mercedes?
        Through Facebook and Racefans comments over this season it’s clear Ferrari should fire all their strategists and employ these people who use hindsight because they’re always 100% accurate (I haven’t spotted them making a mistake yet on what Ferrari should’ve done)

    2. Absolutely right, we know it has nothing to do with the individual drivers strengths and weaknesses. (Except when the positions are reversed.)

  13. One thing that still bugs me is why did they fit Leclerc with the hards at the second stop and not make him go longer on the mediums and then fit him with softs and let him rip at the end of the race? I understand they did strategic mistakes but why not try to fix it at the end? Maybe he had no more fresh softs?

    Also just noticed that I’m glad they cut down the names to hard medium and soft, much less hassle than talking about supers and ultras.

  14. Did the rookie reporter who hasn’t watched a race all year, write this? Even my dog knows that the Mercedes is the fastest car during races.

    1. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit etc it’s becoming more difficult to get people’s attention without a “Fireworks” headline
      The internet is a warzone

    2. @ho3n3r Ferrari still looked faster though. They just lost out on strategy (track position) and Vettel felt he wouldn’t be able to attack Hamilton, so he backed off. Albon with all his drama during the race plus his utter lack of familiarity with the track, came quite close.

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