Mercedes unsure ‘oddball’ one-stop F1 strategy would have worked

Mercedes is unsure that an “oddball” one-stop Formula 1 strategy in Brazil would have worked despite Valtteri Bottas’s in-race message saying it had thrown away a 1-2 finish.

Mercedes unsure ‘oddball’ one-stop F1 strategy would have worked

Lewis Hamilton fought from 10th place on the grid to win Sunday’s grand prix, reducing Red Bull rival Max Verstappen’s lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 14 points.

Verstappen made an early second stop after just 13 laps on a set of hard tyres to try and prevent Hamilton from undercutting him, only for Mercedes to respond and allow the seven-time world champion to catch and pass on-track.

PLUS: How a Mercedes Achilles' heel cost Verstappen 

Bottas was also brought in for an early second stop, coming in the lap after Verstappen, and told Mercedes over team radio: “I think we just threw away an easy 1-2.”

Bottas would ultimately finish third, three seconds behind Verstappen.

“I had a feeling, because on the first stop, for me, it was quite late, that it should have been one-stop,” Bottas said after the race.

“So I’m still thinking I should have been, possibly, second with one stop, but we’ll have a look.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, Mercedes AMG, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, and the Mercedes team celebrate

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, Mercedes AMG, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3rd position, Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, and the Mercedes team celebrate

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

However, Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said he was not sure that Bottas would have been able to keep second by one-stopping, explaining that it was important to cover off Sergio Perez for third place.

Read Also:

“I’m not sure we could have held on to a one-stop,” Wolff said.

“Maybe. But it was risky also to lose P3 against Perez. I think it was OK. It was maybe marginal between the two, but we didn’t want to risk the place to Perez.”

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin confirmed the team was “talking about it” and weighing up a one-stop, but again felt it would have put the podium finish at risk for Bottas.

“Valtteri felt it would work, and you gamble, but the problem is if you gamble wrong, then we could have risked a podium with Valtteri,” Shovlin said.

“With Lewis, when you think you can beat Max on the same strategy. you do that because we felt we had the car pace to really attack if we could get a bit of a tyre offset.

“So the option of going on an oddball strategy was discussed, but wasn’t that attractive because there is doubt and if you get it wrong you cannot win the race.

“You look at how Max dropped off on the hard tyre, it would’ve been very difficult and you have got to incorporate a lot of management.”

Bottas’s third-place finish ensured that Mercedes extended its lead at the top of the constructors’ championship, moving 11 points clear of Red Bull.

shares
comments

Related video

How to become an F1 photographer with Mark Sutton – experience, skills & more
Previous article

How to become an F1 photographer with Mark Sutton – experience, skills & more

Next article

10 things we learned from 2021's Brazilian Grand Prix

10 things we learned from 2021's Brazilian Grand Prix
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022