Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2023

Mercedes used “low risk” strategy to secure second in points at Yas Marina

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In the round-up: Mercedes says they used a “low risk” strategy in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which was geared around ensuring they beat Ferrari to second in the championship.

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In brief

Mercedes’ Ferrari focus led to ‘low risk’ strategy that put Hamilton ninth

Lewis Hamilton ended the 2023 season with his third consecutive finish outside the top six. As he started 11th, ahead of one of the two Ferraris the team needed to out-score, Mercedes took a low-risk approach which left Hamilton in the lower reaches of the points when the race ended.

“If you look back to last year it was a mixture of one and two-stop strategies and that’s what we expected and what we saw this year,” Mercedes’ head of race strategy Rosie Wait explained in a video released by the team.

“If we had our time again knowing what we know now then I think most people would target a one-stop race very similar to Yuki Tsunoda but at the time we felt that that was quite a risky proposition and what we needed to focus on was getting ahead of the McLarens and finishing close enough to Ferrari to secure that P2 in the championship and the low risk way of doing that was to follow suit and commit to the two-stop as other cars did too.”

Prema drivers set the pace on day one of F2 testing

Formula 2’s post-season test at Yas Marina Circuit has begun, and Prema duo Ollie Bearman and Andrea Kimi Antonelli set the pace on the first day.

The fastest laps came in the afternoon session, with Ferrari junior Bearman setting a 1’36.092 towards the very end of the session. Mercedes junior Antonelli was 0.165 seconds slower in his first time in an F2 car. Alpine junior Victor Martins was third fastest for ART, 0.302s off the pace.

Trident’s Richard Verschoor was a third of a second slower than Bearman in fourth, with Hitech GP’s Amaury Cordeel a surprise fifth ahead of MP Motorsport’s Dennis Hauger.

The morning session was more dramatic, and topped by Martins with a 1’36.852 lap. He was fastest by 0.108s over Van Amersfoort Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi. He, Trident’s Oliver Goethe and Rodin Carlin’s Ritomo Miyata – the 2023 Super Formula champion – were among the drivers responsible for causing red flag interruptions.

Carlin’s team founder departs senior role after 27 years

Carlin founder Trevor Carlin no longer occupies a senior role at the team. Companies House documents revealed the “termination of appointment” of him as a director of the team’s holding company Rodin Motorsport on 8th November.

Founded in 1996, the team underwent a major ownership change in 2009 when it became the central part of the Capsicum Motorsport Group led by Grahame Chilton, father of former Formula 1 and IndyCar driver Max Chilton. Carlin himself not only remained a director of the team but at the track was team principal for its racing activities.

In May of this year, David Dicker’s automotive brand Rodin took over ownership of Carlin and the team adopted Rodin into its name. It is not clear whether the team’s founder will still have a trackside or factory-based role, or will exit the organisation. Carlin currently races in F2, FIA Formula 3, GB3 and several Formula 4 series.

Porsche add to their 2024 Formula E line-up

Andre Lotterer, Porsche, Edoardo Mortara, Venturi, Mexico City E-Prix, 2022
Lotterer will be reserve for Porsche
Andre Lotterer will share the role of Porsche reserve and test driver for Porsche’s Formula E team with David Beckmann in 2024.

Beckmann has been reserve driver for Porsche’s customer team Andretti Global for the last two years and made his race debut this June at the Jakarta EPrix when he substituted for Lotterer who was prioritising his Le Mans 24 Hours preparations with Porsche. Beckmann qualified 19th and finished 16th on his debut.

Lotterer spent two seasons with Techeetah in FE, before moving to Porsche for three seasons. He was supposed to leave FE in 2023 to focus on his World Endurance Championship commitments with Porsche, but then got called up to race for Andretti. Once again he was then set to depart FE for 2024, but now will be back in Porsche’s line-up. He referred to his planned FE exit in his announcement as Porsche’s new reserve driver.

“After 26 years in single-seater racing, I have decided to close this chapter of my career and concentrate on the challenge of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship with the Porsche 963,” he said. “At the same time, I’m excited to continue supporting Porsche with my FE experience.”

Amazon move into motorsport streaming

Amazon, which has long been rumoured as a potential future bidder for Formula 1 broadcasting rights, will screen live NASCAR Cup races starting in 2025. America’s leading motorsport series confirmed its future rights will including the streaming service in addition to Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT Sports.

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Comment of the day

Sergio Perez has talked up his race pace after being championship runner-up in F1 this year, but his driving remains under scrutiny due to poor qualifying performances and the sizeable margin in pace and points between himself and title-winning Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen over their three seasons together so far.

Perez is driving better than ever before. He just has more eyes on him every week, a consistent car and a relentless team mate as benchmark.

It’s easy to think Perez is over performing when his team is Sauber or Force India and his team mate is Kamui Kobayashi or Lance Stroll. How good did he look in McLaren alongside Jenson Button?

Having good races or looking not too bad against the Esteban Ocons and Nico Hulkenbergs of the sport is one thing, being team mates with Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso or Max Verstappen will probably hurt your feelings unless you’re good enough to belong to this short list of great drivers.

It’s unfair to expect from Perez what he never was. It’s unfair and unhealthy for him to expect that from himself, way to have a burnout.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Anirudh, Daniel and Mark Stevenson!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born today in 1966: Mika Salo


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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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6 comments on “Mercedes used “low risk” strategy to secure second in points at Yas Marina”

  1. A future F1 move may feel more realistic with every test, but time is running out the more that drags on, with teams having other drivers ahead in priority order in the medium to long-term.

    1. @jerejj Hence why F1 could do with a few more teams to bring the grid back upto 26 cars.

      It’s also why I lament the loss of the true backmarker teams as while they were often miles off the pace they at least provided opportunities as the bigger teams have typically been less willing to take a risk on a rookie.

      Teams like Minardi & the like tended to be more willing to bring in a rookie & it was often a good place for them to learn F1 without having heaps of attention & pressure on them that comes with a top/upper mid-field team where your expected to be on the pace from the off & stay there all year. That’s really the biggest downside of the competitive field we have now, There’s less time for a young driver to bed in & gain experience with less pressure on them. Some can manage it but others need time that they aren’t always given.

  2. LOL.
    “Low risk strategy” is a great way of saying that Lewis either couldn’t be bothered or has gone back to sulking.

    Incoming GOAT Worshippers attack in 3…2… ;)

    1. For me it is just a bit odd to have a driver who’s not well into the points on a ‘low-risk’ strategy; what’s to gain, keep Sainz from stealing 4 points? Mercedes have shown a risk-averse choice of strategies before, and quite often it hasn’t been the best choice (when it mattered, otherwise they were just fast enough where any strategy would have likely worked).

  3. Hugely impressive, @wood_ida_, that in F2 post-season testing Andrea Kimi Antonelli was only 0.165s behind fastest of the day, Oliver Bearman. This is astounding considering how good Bearman is, the fact that Antonelli is jumping from F4 straight to F2 for 2024, skipping F3 entirely, and – as you say – that this was his first time in an F2 car. I wonder, if that really was his official first time and whether he did previous to the tests did some private testing to prepare? Either way, a hugely-impressive young driver who looks like he’s a star in the making – one of the very best. (Heaping the pressure on him nice and early :).

  4. Their strategy was focus all their attention on one driver and hope the other can catch up. Just my two cents.

    It wouldn’t really have worked had Perez been done in by a 5 second penalty so late in the game, but what ever, the FIA are great at fixing everything in the nick of time.

Comments are closed.