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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Mercedes had automobile to beat Verstappen at F1’s US GP

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Lewis Hamilton produced Mercedes’ best race of the season as far as he made essentially the most of a flooring improve to problem Max Verstappen for the win.

However though he got within 2.225 seconds by the chequered flag, the staff was left ruing what might need been because it had misplaced precious time via an prolonged first tyre stint that didn’t repay, after which sluggish pitstops.

Requested by Autosport if he felt Mercedes had had a automobile to triumph, Wolff mentioned: “Yeah. I believe the automobile was fast. Lewis drove fantastically and if I depend all of the issues that went towards us…

“You possibly can say, perhaps we might have gone for a two-stop and simply cowl him [Verstappen], and I believe each stops weren’t nice. Nevertheless it’s an gear subject and never a human.

“After which we misplaced two seconds behind [Lando] Norris, and possibly 1.5 seconds behind Ricciardo. However truthful dues, that is how we race, and, on the finish, it wasn’t enough. So, no blame.”

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Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 2nd place, on the rostrum along with his trophy

Wolff believed the essential issue within the race slipping away from it was when it tried to increase the primary stint in pushing for a one-stop – and the tyres fell off a cliff.

“On final 19 or 20, when Max pitted, we knew that we solely wanted to make three extra laps to make a one-stop stick,” he mentioned.

“Then the efficiency simply went downhill massively. And that most likely was one or the explanations that we could not monetise. However general, I believe we should be pleased with the efficiency.”

Curiously, Wolff admitted that Mercedes was steered in direction of attempting another method as a result of it felt that there was little level in pondering it might problem Verstappen on the identical technique – because the Pink Bull had been so dominant all season.

“It definitely performed a job in that we believed if we had been on the identical technique, like Max, cowl him, be a couple of seconds forward of him, that will not be sufficient to win the race,” mentioned Wolff.

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“And that is okay. He has been dominating all 12 months. In order that’s a little bit of a mindset you take into such a choice.

“With the one cease, we felt we might win, or there’s extra greater possibilities to win. And on the finish, the [tyre] efficiency was not as we thought.”

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