Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2021

Red Bull were “quicker on all tyres” in Austin heat, says Hamilton

2021 United States Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s superior performance in hotter conditions made the difference in the United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton believes.

The Mercedes driver led the opening stages of yesterday’s race but couldn’t pull out a lead over Max Verstappen behind him. Verstappen got ahead of him by making an earlier first pit stop, and although Hamilton closed on his rival at the end of the race, he wasn’t able to attempt a pass.

Hamilton appeared to have better performance compared to the Red Bull after switching from the medium to hard compound tyres at his first pit stop. He reduced Verstappen’s lead from 8.8 seconds to less than a second over the final stint, during which time his tyres were eight laps fresher than his rival’s.

However Hamilton believes Red Bull had a performance advantage over Mercedes across all the compounds. “I think they were quicker all weekend, on all tyres today,” he said.

“Just in the heat, I think the real strength has shone through this weekend, a bit like it has in other places, like Bahrain, this year. So I did the best I could with what we had.”

Mercedes appeared to be in strong shape when the weekend began, lapping almost a second faster than Verstappen did in first practice. Team principal Toto Wolff said the team subsequently made changes to its car to prevent it being “massacred” by the bumps at Circuit of the Americas.

But the alterations didn’t made a significant difference to the car, according to Hamilton. “There wasn’t a big problem,” he said. “It was a bumpy circuit, first of all, but we ended up going back to where we started the weekend so there was no problem.”

The team also confirmed it ran its engines in a higher engine mode during the first practice session.

Hamilton took some satisfaction from his start from second on the grid, when he passed Verstappen into turn one, but believes Red Bull were too strong to beat in Austin.

“I had a great start. The goal was to get in the lead and I finally got a good start – I’ve not had as good a start as that for a long time so I was really happy with it.

“Then it was just about staying clean and coming out ahead and holding onto it. It felt good at the time, to get into the lead, I thought ‘okay, this is step one’ but, as I said, they were just too quick.”

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69 comments on “Red Bull were “quicker on all tyres” in Austin heat, says Hamilton”

  1. I’m not sure that’s true. If the race was 5 laps longer, or even just 2, I think Hamilton would have passed Verstappen easily. Saying ‘they were just quicker’ really doesn’t cover it, both cars were superior at different points in the race. It just seems Red Bull got their numbers right on when best to pit than Mercedes did, but even then that was an enormous gamble – in this instance it paid off but it could very easily have gone the other way.

    1. did you expect Lewis to say
      “we had intrinsically a better car but failed”?


      Merc has been putting themselves in the underdog role for the whole season while on average they were at least on par with RB.

    2. I don’t think thats true either. Mercedes had the best strategy and car. Max was however fast on the first stint (better full fuel load balance or something) and was really held up by Lewis which made him pit earlier (than I presumed they had planned, but was a scenario in the planning). That made the whole thing unfold like it did the moment Lewis did not pit immediately after Max. From there on it was basically set how things would go. If Max car was a ghost car Lewis would have completed the GP in a shorter time than Max won it. Again as so many times this season Mercedes is the strongest but are behind on race savvy-ness.

      1. Good point about the ghost car, I agree.

    3. Marinated Monolith (@)
      25th October 2021, 18:10


      Nah, I’m pretty sure that Hamilton’s pace at the end is partly because his tyres are like, 8 laps younger than Max’s.
      I believe that if the race were to go on for a couple more laps, Max still would’ve won because Hamilton’s tyres would by then be just as shot as Max’s.

      You can see it in Vettel’s last stint as well. He stopped pretty late and then went on a charge on his final stint and managed to pass the two Alfa Romeos and was right on Tsunoda’s tail by the chequered flag.

    4. Would have been the first truth in all its life. Total BS as ever

  2. I don’t agree. On mediums RB looked faster. On hards Mercedes faster. Maybe Verstappen could have gone a little bit faster on hards but he needed to manage it till the end. It was quit a big last stint. He even had purple S1 in his last lap.

    1. he was managing for the rest of the race after the first pit as we could see perez faster with fresher tyres after both pit stops.
      he only went to full attack mode for a few laps when hamilton got closer after the first pit and at the end of the race, even setting a purple sector with 20+ laps tyres.

      red bull outsmarted mercedes and they had the tools to do it.

    2. That’s simply because Verstappen choose to go with a marginal strategy to get the undercut. That means he needs to manage the tyres a bit more, but he clearly could go fast on them as he showed by going faster on the first few laps of his stint.

    1. @w0o0dy What’s the delta for tyres 8 laps younger? What’s the delta for Verstappen simply managing his tyres for the longer stints he was on? And even then the data shows that Verstappen was actually faster …

      1. Max completed the race in less time than Lewis so he won, clear as day. That’s definitely NOT the same as “he was faster on all tyres”.
        Max did seem faster on the yellows but on the hards he clearly was not faster when you look at the lap times Lewis did. Max did absolutely smoke Lewis on the in- and out laps around the pitstops. THAT and the track position meant he won. Not the fact that he was faster… He clearly was not looking at the fastest laps and the number of fastest laps Lewis did in comparison.

        1. @w0o0dy The Red Bull car was faster. Even on a slower strategy it finished well ahead.

          You are comparing lap times that are not comparable.

  3. Let’s make it easy for the lazy People. Comparing the lap times of Max Vs Lewis, using the racefans overview.


    1. someone or something
      25th October 2021, 16:11

      That image isn’t loading.
      Doesn’t matter, though. Comparing bare lap times doesn’t tell you that much, considering how strategic yesterday’s race was.
      The only phase of the race that had both rivals on the same strategy was the opening stint. The lap times from that stint won’t tell you anything, they were identical for Hamilton and Verstappen. However, we could observe that Verstappen was able to follow Hamilton pretty closely, which is a strong indicator of better pace.
      So we do have a few laps that point towards Red Bull having the better package on race day, even though it doesn’t really show in the lap times.
      However, seeing how Verstappen was stuck and couldn’t do much with his pace, Red Bull went aggressive and decided to pit pretty much as early as possible (even accepting that Verstappen had to go through traffic), instead of waiting for the pit stop window that was, in theory, best suited to complete the race distance in the shortest time possible.
      By doing so, they traded future track position for a bit of pace over the rest of the race. That, in essence, is the price of an aggressive undercut: Pitting earlier means you either have to extend the remaining stints, thus slowing your average pace in those stints, or you need to make another pit stop, which also leads to you finishing the race later than theoretically possible.
      And that’s the reason why Hamilton’s faster lap times tell us extremely little. They were to expected in the context of their different strategies, plain and simple. Even if, for the sake of an argument, we simulated the race with two identical cars, piloted by the same, perfect artificial intelligence, and put them on the same strategies as Hamilton and Verstappen yesterday, anything but a very similar pattern in lap times would come as a huge surprise.
      Additionally, Verstappen’s pace during his final stint was not only affected by its sheer length, but also by the implications of his strategy. His primary goal at this stage did not consist in trying to complete the remaining distance in as little time as possible, but a compromise between that and making sure that Hamilton closes the gap at a rate that both makes sure that A) there are only few laps left, so that he doesn’t get many attempts, and B) their pace delta is small enough for Verstappen to keep Hamilton behind.

      Long story short:
      The lap times tell you everything about strategy, but nearly nothing about whose car was better on race day. It’s theoretically possible that Red Bull’s strategy was so aggressive that they needed a sizeable advantage to pull it off at all (the first stint can be interpreted as evidence for that). Or, on the contrary, it’s theoretically possible that Mercedes fumbled the strategy, and Hamilton was only able to mount a late challenge thanks to a superior car (pretty unlikely, considering how extreme Red Bull’s strategy was).

      Therefore, my conclusion lies between those two extremes. Both cars had similar pace, possibly with a slight advantage for Red Bull (as evidenced by their quali result and the one phase of the race during which the lap times weren’t primarily affected by different strategies).

      1. A lot of text and I appreciate the effort. Just don’t necessarily agree. Looking at the lap times tells you one thing: Lewis did more laps faster than Max, then Max did faster laps in comparison to Lewis. The fastest lap went to Hamilton by 0,5 sec too and not even at the end of the race. So it’s pretty clear Hamilton could drive faster than Max. Except around the pitstop, where Max absolutely killed Lewis taking seconds away from him… And guess what? The difference in start time and finish time was only 1 second slower for Lewis.
        So that’s why we can conclude Lewis had the fastest car and did the fastest laps yet still came up short. Outdriven by Max.

        1. @w0o0dy Read that post again. You are missing the clue

        2. someone or something
          27th October 2021, 14:25

          Looking at the lap times tells you one thing: Lewis did more laps faster than Max, then Max did faster laps in comparison to Lewis.

          Yeah, but like I said: That doesn’t tell you anything. Hamilton was faster when his tyres were fresher (which was the case for 35 race laps), and Verstappen was faster when his tyres were fresher (which was the case for 11 race laps). That shouldn’t surprise anyone.
          Let me break that down (Verstappen’s pit stops|Hamilton’s pit stops):
          Phase 0|0 (lap 1-10): Equal tyres, Verstappen stuck behind Hamilton.
          Phase 1|0 (lap 11-13): Verstappen’s tyres 10 laps fresher, Verstappen on average 1.2 seconds per lap faster
          Phase 1|1 (lap 14-29): Slightly fresher tyres for Hamilton (by 3 laps), Hamilton on average 0.27 seconds faster.
          Phase 2|1 (lap 30-37): Verstappen’s tyres 16 laps fresher, Verstappen on average 0.84 seconds faster.
          Phase 2|2 (lap 38-54 [Hamilton catches Verstappen]): Hamilton’s tyres 8 laps fresher, Hamilton on average 0.46 seconds faster.

          I think we already agree on the first stint: Verstappen was clearly faster on the Mediums, but since he was stuck, we don’t know by how much.
          Then a short sprint for track position, with Verstappen having to go through traffic (a Ferrari and a McLaren, no less), while Hamilton was losing time on degrading Mediums. Verstappen’s pace advantage was massive, but we’re comparing different compounds in different life stages, so there’s not much to learn from Verstappen’s pace advantage.
          As soon as both are on the Hard tyres, things start to get interesting:
          Despite having only 3 laps fresher tyres, Hamilton gains over 4 seconds in 15 laps, which would translate to 0.092 seconds per lap of difference in tyre age.
          The next two phases, starting with Verstappen’s final pit stop, are characterised by Verstappen lapping 0.84 seconds faster on 16 laps fresher tyres (i.e. 0.053 seconds per lap of difference in tyre age), and finally, Hamilton lapping 0.46 seconds faster on 8 laps fresher tyres (i.e. 0.058 seconds per lap of tyre difference).

          The last 26 laps are particularly interesting, because they suggest that it truly didn’t matter which car you looked at; their respective pace was perfectly predictable based on the age of their tyres, down to 5/1000th of a second. In Hamilton’s case, that figure was a tiny bit higher than it was for Verstappen, but the difference is so minuscule (0.28 seconds over the entire race) that it must be discarded as insignificant.
          In other words: If we look at the second phase of the race, we are led to the conclusion that Verstappen’s and Hamilton’s pace was identical. Or rather: It would’ve been if they had used the same strategy. And that’s assuming that tyre wear affects lap times in a linear way (when in fact it’s a curve that gets steeper with every lap), so that’s not even taking into account that Verstappen had to nurse his tyres for 27 laps, while Hamilton’s only needed to survive 19.

          However, phase 1|1 (after Hamilton’s 1st and before Verstappen’s 2nd pit stop) yields a different result, namely a lap time advantage of 0.092 seconds per difference in tyre age in laps. That’s 70% more and would theoretically add 2.2 seconds over 56 laps (just to show the magnitude: It’s not insignificant, but not huge either).
          So this is where the uncertainty comes into play. Based on this stint alone (the 27 laps after that contradict that), Hamilton’s car might’ve been 0.04 seconds per lap faster when running on Hard tyres.
          However, the explanation for this might lie in Verstappen’s opening laps of the stint: Having pitted early in order to undercut Hamilton and gain track position, Verstappen needed to push his tyres very hard. Not only did he have to make sure he was fast enough so that Hamilton couldn’t simply pit a lap later and stay ahead, but he also had to find a way past Ricciardo’s McLaren and Leclerc’s Ferrari (who did him the favour of pitting as well). This probably took more life out of his tyres than a normal out-lap would have, thus slightly affecting the tyres’ performance for the rest of the stint.

        3. someone or something
          27th October 2021, 14:51

          And here’s part 2:

          The fastest lap went to Hamilton by 0,5 sec too and not even at the end of the race.

          This is another example for how looking at raw lap times doesn’t necessarily tell you that much. You have to look at the race context and other parameters as well, before drawing conclusions.
          In short: Hamilton did set the fastest lap, about 6 tenths quicker than Verstappen. But:
          Hamilton set his lap time on lap 41, i.e. fresh out of the pits after his final pit stop. In other words: At the expected time in a race with significant tyre degradation (in races with low degradation, this tends to be near the end of the race instead, when the fuel load goes down).
          However, Verstappen’s fastest lap only came on lap 52, i.e. 23 laps into his stint. So these lap times are by no means comparable. If we look at the tyre age/lap time correlation (somewhere between 0.053 and 0.092 seconds per lap), we can conclude that the wear on Verstappen’s tyres was slowing him down by 1.2-2.2 seconds at this stage. Of course, his car was also lighter, having used more fuel. The time penalty per lap of fuel was estimated to be 0.071 seconds per lap, i.e. by setting his lap time 11 laps later than Hamilton did, the effect of the fuel load had been reduced by almost 0.8 seconds per lap. Taking into consideration the fuel load and tyre wear, Verstappen’s car was somewhere between 0.4 and 1.4 seconds slower than Hamilton’s car had been when the latter went 0.6 seconds quicker. In other words: This difference is insignificant in terms of sheer numbers already.
          And it gets even more insignificant when you look at the context: Neither Hamilton nor Verstappen were really pushing to set the fastest lap. Hamilton just did a fairly normal lap fresh out of the pits, not pushing overly hard because he knew the final part of the stint would be crucial for winning the race. Conversely, Verstappen’s fastest lap time was set when he picked up the pace as Hamilton started closing in on him. In fact, Verstappen set 3 lap times that were virtually identical with his fastest lap, between lap 47 and 52. He clearly could’ve gone a lot faster at any given time, but his goal was to save his tyres and win the race, not set the fastest lap time. And that’s why, in this case, this stat is meaningless.

    2. Seems Mercedes was a bit quicker on the hards while on the medium Max was faster.

      1. And hards were ofc used longer, so I’m gonna give this one to mercedes, quali to red bull, where it seemed like hamilton did well by splitting the red bulls.

        1. It is a funny discussion, someone may be faster at some point then the other. The only thing that ends the discussion is who crossed the finish first.
          It is also pointless to extrapolate a few more rounds.

  4. And there he goes again. He delivers a great drive, worthy of respect, then when he doesn’t win he needs to claim he had the slower car. Never mind all the data.
    He may be a great driver, but such a small person.

    1. I don’t understand that either. What’s wrong with being graceful in defeat? Seriously, the Lewis before this season and the Lewis now is to me a completely different person. I was a huge Hamilton fan until this season. I would have been able to cheer both for him and Max as I’ve seen quite some guys come and go to be loving the full spectrum of the sport. But Lewis is making it so difficult to love and respect him this year and I really do not understand why.

      1. It’s easy to be a gracious, clean driver, … when you have 2s advantage.

        I think that he is a bad loser. In a sense that when he clearly has an inferior car, it’s no shame to lose, but when the cars are more or less matched, he thinks it’s shameful to lose. So it cannot be him, it must be the car, team strategy, setup, or whatever.
        On the one hand a good mindset for a champion, but he should still be able to put things in perspective.

      2. Just say you don’t like him and get over with it. That way, you can pretend he didn’t congratulate Max first thing in the post-race interview and also try and make this “they were faster” as something other than a concession.
        Plus – I’m sure he doesn’t need your love and respect anyway.

        1. Emma, everybody does not need to love everybody. Everybody has someone who they like and dislike, that’s just the way it is. I happen to concur with this view, Lewis is a fantastic racer and I believe his heart in in the right place, but his insincerity, fakeness and pretenciousness simply don’t sit well with me. Just like Max’s bluntness and radical honesty is not for everybody, there are plenty of people who dislike him for that and that is okay. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and I don’t see the need to vilify people for their view as long as they are within the realm of social norms. It’s okay, we can all root for our favorite driver and still play nice with the other side. Just like either driver does not need our approval, they don’t need us jumping in their defense every time someone says something bad about them.

          1. It’s okay, we can all root for our favorite driver and still play nice with the other side.

            I agree with this. Why then do some people throw obvious lies and half-truths around in their attempts to put the other side down? And absurd statements like “making it so difficult to love and respect him this year and I really do not understand why” – surely I am allowed to question such?

          2. Surely you can question and ask for clarifications or proofs. But I don’t see any reason to attack the original poster. I do have to say I appreciate the drivers who raise their hand and say they’ve messed up, or that they were not fast enough on the occasion. Charles and Lando come to mind. Max occasionally uses the “I was in a slower car argument” as well but at least with him it does not seem like an excuse, more of an acknowledgement of the fact that a driver can only control so much. He does not go out of his way to say it and says it when it corresponds to what we saw on the track. Lewis seems to take every opportunity after a loss to mention that he was in a slower car as a subtle dig at the other driver, and it usually seems calculated and premeditated (just saying it how I see it, other people will have different opinions). I would go as far as to say Lewis says this even if it isn’t factually correct. I think part of that is the mental warfare Lewis is engaging in, which is fair enough I suppose even if that’s not my cup of tea, but I also sense that a part of it is just protecting his own reputation, similarly to how Fernando seems to always be the biggest fan of his own work. That is not to say that I think Lewis has anything to be ashamed of after this weekend, he was brilliant in every session, but I do find these remarks tiring as well.

        2. @Emma The “making it so difficult to love and respect him this year and I really do not understand why” part is me being gutted I found out my favourite driver isnt such a nice person off track when in a season of pressure. As to me questioning the why: That’s a ‘why does he show this behavior’? I feel Toto and Lewis both took quite a dent in their public image this season. Surveys support this. While they could have stated ‘we’ve won for so many years, its inevitable someone else great will show up. No, they are making up all kind of excuses in an effort to keep a flawless image or something. Just be thankful you have/had such a great car winning all those championships and stop whining. But most of all: authenticity. It cant be found at Mercedes and thats where I personally draw the line. This is sports, not drama. Be open or be gone.

    2. How do you even come to such a conclusion? Has it occurred to you that “they were faster” might be a reference to the combination of car, driver and team? Small person – such rubbish about someone you know nothing about says a lot about you.

      1. I have had my moments where I haven’t appreciated LH in terms of his verbiage and personality too, but I don’t think he has said anything in the quotes above much different than Max has said at times, especially last year and sometimes this year, generally such as ‘we just didn’t have the pace today and we have to keep trying to find a bit more.’

        Let’s admit the car is 80% to 95% of the equation depending on the expert one asks, and so when they’re so close, and the drivers are so evenly matched, it’s hard to blame the drivers when in this case neither LH nor Max put a foot wrong. Even the start and LH prevailing there was largely predicted. RBR the team, including Max, were just slightly faster enough than Mercedes the team with LH, on this particular weekend, and that’s what made it such a nail biter.

        I do agree with Horner that overall RBR had a ‘big’ win even if by a hair, simply because of where they have come vs the dynasty that is Mercedes in general and how strong they have been at COTA. In other words RBR did the bigger feat with the win because if LH had won that would have been the more expected thing and less a surprise. RBR have made the much bigger strides vs the last time they raced at COTA just as they had done for the start of the season vs where they were relative to Merc last year.

        1. @robbie – I think I’ve told you before – I appreciate your comments (despite their verbosity at times!). They are generally quite fair/balanced even though you make no attempt to hide which side you’re rooting for.
          Take this for example:

          Let’s admit the car is 80% to 95% of the equation depending on the expert one asks, and so when they’re so close, and the drivers are so evenly matched, it’s hard to blame the drivers when in this case neither LH nor Max put a foot wrong.

          Why is it so hard for some on either side to see this?

          1. It depends on the circumstances, this race I said it too they both drove well and it was about a car being better on mediums, another on hards and the strategy, but other times some people have a completely different view.

            Take spain for example, it seemed clear to me merc was fastest and was always gonna win, while some people called red bull faster there, so, it was one of the clearest races for me.

    3. Yep exactly

    4. True, it was clear Red Bull had the faster car. No need for Hamilton to reiterate that.

      1. Wrong, data doesn’t lie.

        1. Data, facts and f1trollosaurus does not match.
          In his dimension strange things happens.

        2. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.how-red-bull-pulled-off-their-aggressive-strategy-to-win-in-austin-and-just.5fwqaWfD9KjUfc7KuR0ae7.html

          As this article explains it was a combination of pace, rear end grip, and strategy that helped Max win. LH was clearly faster at times with the fastest lap and the highest average lap speed, but that wasn’t enough vs RBR’s better overall race from the three aspects highlighted. Turkey of course had Mercedes as the faster car by a bigger margin due to their diffuser stall work being much more effective there than in the US. The article cited bottom lines it that it is not clear who has the faster car because it largely depends on the track. In the US LH’s speed trap speeds were higher than Max’s but not nearly by as much as in Turkey. Of course in the end Max completed the 56 laps in the US 1.3 seconds faster than did LH after they traded off who was faster and when all day. That’s why it was a nail biter.

          1. @robbie A faster car, beaten off the line and then easily back in front with the undercut. faster car is faster car.

        3. @w0o0dy The way you mispresent the data does lie.

          1. I’m sorry to see that you are unable to process the information that was provided to you correctly. So let’s quote someone with some knowledge and some authority: “forcing Hamilton in on lap 13. He then brought in his fresh hard tyres very gently, lapping around 2.5sec slower than Verstappen had done.

            Verstappen’s hard early pace in the second stint – which was absolutely necessary in the moment – was way too much for the rear tyres. It gave him a lead over Hamilton of almost 7sec – but the rubber was now way too hot. Hamilton’s gently-driven tyres were in much better shape and he quickly began closing that 7sec deficit down.

            So it was the slow warming of the tyres that cost Hamilton about 7 seconds. NOT the capability of his car. Yet in the end he finishes 1,3 sec behind Max. So… He was faster, drove faster but ruined his chances of winning by going too slowly after the pitstops and losing too much time there. And if the race would have been longer he would have easily passed Max… But the strategy wasn’t 100%.

            This loss was Lewis and Mercedes dropping the ball by pitting too late and driving unnecessarily slow after the stops.

  5. I definitely think that Mercedes were faster on the hard tyres, but at the end of the day, track position was king. If the tables had turned, I’m convinced Verstappen wouldn’t have got by on track either.

    1. Yes, the Mercedes (or at least Hamilton) was faster on the Hards. You don’t slice a 8.5 sec gap to a quicker car in a little more than 10 laps, just by fresher tires alone.
      The RB was certainly faster on the Mediums though, otherwise Verstappen wouldn’t have been able to stay so close to Hamilton in the first stint.

      1. You do realise alot of that time was lost due to traffic, Verstappen was very unlucky with traffic. The gap took 16 laps to get to 1.1seconds so not 10.
        Redbull was faster on the mediums and equal on the hards. There’s no comparison data for the hards.

    2. @eurobrun Verstappen set the same times at the start of his stint on higher fuel than Hamilton did at the start of his stint. So Red Bull was faster.

      Of course Hamilton had faster lap times in the end since his tyres were 8 laps younger and Verstappen was managing his tyres over a longer stint.

  6. I’ve watched the race. I’ve never driver an F1 car, but I do have my own two eyes and I can do basic math. Not true at all, and it rarely is the case (especially when we compare second drivers this becomes very clear). Numbers don’t add up here, I’m sorry, and whatever either fans make of it.

  7. An act of reality distortion in progress…
    ca 70/80% of the time Ham was on the hard tire with an big speed advantage ( as the real hard data so easy proves)
    But maybe Lewis thinks he can chase a faster car and still closing the distance with his talent.
    The fastest lap must have been a surpise for him ;)

    It was a great battle, won by executing to perfection of a very daring strategy. Not by speed alone.

    1. On tyres 8 laps fresher they are easily half a second faster.

  8. The Red Bull was faster, if only ever so slightly. That’s clear. Had Verstappen kept the lead at the start, Merc wouldn’t have been able to do anything. But the moment Hamilton took the lead, the dynamic changed. The faster Red Bull couldn’t pass, so needed to undercut, and stop so early. Verstappen was forced to overwork the first set of hard tyres overtaking Ricciardo and Leclec, which is why his stint fell away at the end and he came in after 19 laps. Then he had to manage that final set to the end, which (coupled with traffic) is why he lost time to Hamilton on younger tyres. Hamilton was never realistically going to overtake him. It was a great performance from both, but I agree with Mercedes the ball was always in Red Bull’s court.

    1. Verstappen came in for his 2nd stop only because Lewis was getting close enough for an undercut. Whether that was caused by max burning his tyres in these 2 overtakes, i am not sure.

      In any case, Merc would have been better to pit Lewis immediately too in the first stops. This way Lewis would have lost track position still to Max but would have been within 2sec immediately and could have try the undercut at the 2nd stop. Missed chance?

      1. Max hurt his tyres too much getting the undercut, you had to nurse your tyres in like Hamilton was told to and Max did the second time. The undercut and track position was very important but Max suffered at the end of the 2nd stint though and with Hamilton lapping 3 laps later was why Hamilton started making inroads.

    2. I’m not that sure.
      I would think that when Verstappen kept first place after the first corner it might prompt Mercedes to be more aggressive. In the end RBR won because of the aggressive strategy, it payed off. It would be Mercedes on the attack then and it would mean more time for Hamilton on the hards. Pace on the hards was fine. But that would put him behind Perez. He might have lost time there…
      It’s speculation, but that’s what this forum is for :-)

    3. I don’t think the RB was faster but they had the upperhand in the strategy with Perez close while Bottas p10 was not a factor. The first stint it looked like RB was much faster but I think the RB was faster in the corners and because of the DRS he could keep up at the straights. When both in clear air in the second and third stint the MB was faster but with younger tyres. It’s difficult to compare two cars when there are two drivers and many other factors involved. I still believe Hamilton could have won the race if he got whitin DRS range on time.

  9. Just look at how tight was this Verstappen/Red Bull win, seriously. What a sore loser blabber. Like in Paul Ricard, they won in COTA despite not having the fastest car.

  10. Red Bull held all the strategy cards while running 2nd and 3rd ……. Merc needed Bottas a close 3rd or 4th to slow the early pitting Max up a bit; instead all they could do was run long if max pitted early (which he did); but then Red Bull forced Ham to react to Perez pitstop. 2 against 1 always works and therefore Ham didnt really have any big strategy cards to play.

    1. If you’re fast enough you can win even if you’re 2 vs 1, see leclerc at monza 2019 (which an aging raikkonen didn’t manage the year before) and verstappen at zandvoort.

  11. Lewis was driving the wheels off the car. Verstappen even commented duri g the race when he was behind that lewis was sliding around alot. Which means he was on the very limit.

    1. He said that in the 1st stint mate, then Max lost his tyres and went for pits while Lewis said his tyres looked good. RB is generally better with softer tyres while Mercs have been with harder compounds. Lewis was definitely faster than RB, Max had to manage his race tyres, ultimately he judged his tyres to perfection, not pacing too fast or too slow.

  12. Hamilton was always going to say that, I mean how could he possibly loose if the other guy didn’t have an advantage.
    Basically he is saying they were faster, but I am so good that they only beat me by 1.3 seconds.

    1. He could have won. Just needs to get up to speed faster after pitting without overheating the tyres. But he didn’t, so he lost. 0,8+1,5 sec > 1.3s no?

      1. @w0o0dy Lol, going fast at the start of the stint is exactly how Verstappen ruined his tyres, going off the cliff and allowing Hamilton to come back

        Besides, delta needed for an overtake was apparently 1.3s. So Hamilton was nowhere near that anyway.

        1. @f1osaurus

          Lol, going fast at the start of the stint is exactly how Verstappen ruined his tyres, going off the cliff and allowing Hamilton to come back

          To this date you still didn’t get it that pitting early was Max’s and Red Bull’s intended strategy since losing the lead at the start? It was their option, despite being a bold one, but it did pay off. No wonder why you never care enough about race strategy and after Lewis lose you blame the speed of the other car when in reality they were pretty evenly matched or somewhat close.

          1. @rodewulf I do get that Verstappen needed the undercut to make good for his fluffed start. However you don’t seem to get why Verstappen’s tyres went off the cliff allowing Hamilton to come back somewhat.

            Verstappen had the faster car, but he ruined by a bad start which then forced him into a poorer strategy and then his poor tyre management made if even more marginal. leading him to almost losing the race in a car that was easily 3 tenths a lap faster.

  13. Red Bull was faster on mediums with a heavy car, Mercedes faster on the hards. That Mercedes is better on the hards has been obvious for a while now.

    The only question is if Red Bull’s apparent advantage on mediums was because they were using them up in the knowledge that they would be in after 10 laps. Verstappen ‘sliding’ comments could have been a ploy meant to promote the notion that they had longevity on the mediums and would stay on the for a while.

  14. Red Bull definitely looked a bit quicker on the mediums but hard to say by how much, Verstappen could keep in the DRS quite easily is appeared.

    Difficult to say on the harder tyre, you’d assume Verstappen was doing some management of his tyres to mitigate them potentially dropping in performance at the end as his tyres were older than Hamiltons.

    Regardless, strategy won this race, the cars are evenly matched to the extent neither can overtake the other at this track with the relative setups.

  15. Why cant people accept that there is nothing between these cars and its the driver who does a slightly better job that wins. Analysis paralysis. its two drivers on the limit in very equal machinery, and one wins by tiny margin, thats it.

  16. Mr amateur psychologist playing underdog again.

  17. Did I read Hamilton claims the loss because the Red Bull was quicker? Am I to conclude that when he wins it’s because he has a quicker car? Apparently he must think that drivers are irrelevant and wins should be attributed to the quickness of the car and all his wins were due to his car being faster than the others and not due to driver skill. George Russell may have proved his point at the Sakhir GP.

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