Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
44 days
09 May
Next event in
62 days
23 May
Race in
79 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
93 days
13 Jun
Race in
101 days
27 Jun
Race in
114 days
04 Jul
Next event in
118 days
18 Jul
Race in
136 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
149 days
29 Aug
Race in
177 days
05 Sep
Race in
184 days
12 Sep
Race in
191 days
26 Sep
Race in
205 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
209 days
10 Oct
Race in
219 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
234 days
31 Oct
Race in
241 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
261 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
276 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
282 days

Mercedes made “wrong decision” on Spanish GP strategy

The Mercedes Formula 1 team says it made a “wrong decision” on strategy in the Spanish Grand Prix, costing Valtteri Bottas a shot at passing Max Verstappen for second place.

Chief strategist James Vowles admits that a window briefly opened that could have allowed Bottas to jump ahead of Red Bull driver Verstappen if he pitted, but the team didn’t take the opportunity, and the Finn ultimately had to settle for third.

Bottas had made a poor start from second on the grid, and he was passed by both Verstappen and the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.

He lost time and took some life out of his tyres fighting past Stroll, before focussing on catching up with Verstappen ahead.

Read Also:

“Once Valtteri was back in P3, we were reviewing options, and there were really only two on the table,” Vowles said in a Mercedes video.

“The first is to go longer, force Verstappen into an early stop, make sure he covers you and then go much longer than him, and do an overcut and overtake on track.

“The second is obviously the undercut, the one that is most known about, but to do that you need to be very, very close to the car in front and on the first stint, we simply weren’t there. We were dropping off the tyre curves and we weren’t able to get close enough to Verstappen.

“Understandably so, Valtteri had been fighting through traffic to get up to that point and had lost a little bit more of the shine outside the tyre.

“On stint two, there was an opportunity for an undercut, a very small one. It appeared for a lap and that was it, and it was very marginal to take a medium and then undercut.

“But it existed. We debated it, it was definitely an option that we went through on the pit wall, but there were also options we felt by going longer, and it was really balancing those two.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes F1 W11 EQ Performance

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“There was a bit of a distraction of a thunderstorm that was taking place nearby and the concern as to whether that could maybe push across the circuit. All of that combined meant we left that opportunity on the table and went for the long stint.

“Wrong decision I think, in hindsight, I think we had an opportunity to undercut, just on that one lap around lap 39. Either way, Valtteri did a sterling job trying to recover, and did a brilliant job getting back into the P3.”

Bottas took the soft tyre at his second and final stop, and the team harboured hopes that he would have the pace to attack Verstappen, who had pitted seven laps earlier.

“At the end of the race when Verstappen took the medium, it made somewhat sense to also offset ourselves on compound to him,” said Vowles. “The temperatures had come down, the track was cooling, and we felt it could give us our best opportunity.

“But the reality is, on the model, both the medium and the soft looked like we had an opportunity to overtake and pass him.

“As Valtteri got back out, we were surprised that the times weren’t quite where they needed to be and Valtteri was having to do a lot of protection of that tyre to stop it overheating.

“More than we had anticipated and ultimately, the pace wasn’t strong enough with that tyre in order to get the overtake.”

shares
comments
Pirelli postpones FP2 tests with 2021 F1 tyres

Previous article

Pirelli postpones FP2 tests with 2021 F1 tyres

Next article

Does Kimi Raikkonen deserve to stay in F1 next year?

Does Kimi Raikkonen deserve to stay in F1 next year?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Prime

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Prime

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Prime

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021 Prime

The tricky driver conundrums facing Mercedes in F1 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Prime

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021...

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021