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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Mercedes uncertain ‘oddball’ one-stop F1 technique would have labored

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Lewis Hamilton fought from tenth place on the grid to win Sunday’s grand prix, decreasing Purple Bull rival Max Verstappen’s lead on the prime of the drivers’ championship to 14 factors.

Verstappen made an early second cease after simply 13 laps on a set of laborious tyres to try to stop Hamilton from undercutting him, just for Mercedes to reply and permit the seven-time world champion to catch and cross on-track.

PLUS: How a Mercedes Achilles’ heel cost Verstappen 

Bottas was additionally introduced in for an early second cease, coming within the lap after Verstappen, and advised Mercedes over workforce radio: “I believe we simply threw away a simple 1-2.”

Bottas would in the end end third, three seconds behind Verstappen.

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“I had a sense, as a result of on the primary cease, for me, it was fairly late, that it ought to have been one-stop,” Bottas mentioned after the race.

“So I’m nonetheless pondering I ought to have been, presumably, second with one cease, however we’ll take a look.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st place, Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, Mercedes AMG, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, third place, Toto Wolff, Workforce Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, and the Mercedes workforce have fun

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Nevertheless, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff mentioned he was unsure that Bottas would have been capable of preserve second by one-stopping, explaining that it was necessary to cowl off Sergio Perez for third place.

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“I’m unsure we may have held on to a one-stop,” Wolff mentioned.

“Possibly. Nevertheless it was dangerous additionally to lose P3 in opposition to Perez. I believe it was OK. It was perhaps marginal between the 2, however we didn’t need to danger the place to Perez.”

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin confirmed the workforce was “speaking about it” and weighing up a one-stop, however once more felt it could have put the rostrum end in danger for Bottas.

“Valtteri felt it could work, and also you gamble, however the issue is if you happen to gamble mistaken, then we may have risked a podium with Valtteri,” Shovlin mentioned.

“With Lewis, while you assume you possibly can beat Max on the identical technique. you do this as a result of we felt we had the automobile tempo to actually assault if we may get a little bit of a tyre offset.

“So the choice of occurring an oddball technique was mentioned, however wasn’t that engaging as a result of there’s doubt and if you happen to get it mistaken you can not win the race.

“You have a look at how Max dropped off on the laborious tyre, it could’ve been very troublesome and you have to include numerous administration.”

Bottas’s third-place end ensured that Mercedes prolonged its lead on the prime of the constructors’ championship, shifting 11 factors away from Purple Bull.

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