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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Mercedes podium doable however “atrocious first stint” expensive in F1 Japanese GP

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However each drivers struggled for tempo on the hards and, after failing to search out adequate positive factors after their first cease to a different set of onerous tyres, Russell and Hamilton reverted to a two-stop technique to finish the race on the mediums they used for the primary lap.

Russell completed seventh, getting by Oscar Piastri late on, whereas Hamilton might solely handle ninth within the Suzuka race.

Wolff blamed the poor tempo within the first stint and stated Mercedes will look at what prompted it having been hopeful of preventing for the rostrum beforehand.

“We ended up the place we began and it was simply very tough,” Wolff informed Sky Sports activities F1. “We had a second and third stint that was tremendous fast and we might’ve been racing for a podium however an atrocious first stint.

“We have to discover out what it was, was it too sizzling, have been we overmanaging.”

Wolff backed the one-stop technique change by Mercedes through the crimson flag however was alarmed by the tempo drop which compelled it to alter its plan.

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“I feel it was the suitable factor to do in the beginning as a result of it appeared fairly steady by way of lap occasions,” he stated. “They weren’t pulling away an excessive amount of, the direct rivals, however then it all of a sudden dropped like two seconds a lap and two and a half second per lap. In that second it was clear it wouldn’t final.”

Hamilton suspected even with a distinct technique Mercedes would have suffered as a result of it nonetheless wanted to run two onerous tyre stints throughout the race as a result of its pre-race alternatives.

Mercedes and McLaren opted for 2 units of contemporary hards and one set of contemporary mediums for every of their drivers for the Japanese GP, whereas Crimson Bull and Ferrari each had one set of hards and two units of mediums for every of their drivers.

“I don’t know what the completely different technique would’ve been, whether or not we stayed on the medium to start out, however we nonetheless had two actually horrible onerous tyres to run by way of,” Hamilton stated. 

“An actual problem at the moment. I feel I picked up a bit of injury in the beginning when Charles got here across the exterior and had large understeer for the primary stint and I couldn’t flip the automobile by way of any of the corners, so that’s the reason I let George go by.

“The onerous tyre was fairly unhealthy, as I stated, however the medium tyre was higher. In hindsight, it seems to be like we should always have had two medium tyres. However normally, the automobile was fairly unhealthy at the moment.”

Watch: F1 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Evaluate – Regular Service Resumed

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