Mercedes: Williams F1 team was wrong-footed in British GP strategy

Mercedes believes the Williams Formula 1 team "probably got caught on the wrong foot" strategically in the battle for victory in the British Grand Prix on Sunday

Mercedes: Williams F1 team was wrong-footed in British GP strategy

Williams held a surprise one-two with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas in the first stint at Silverstone, but it was unable to fend off eventual winner Lewis Hamilton around the pitstops to hold onto the lead.

The team also stuck to its guns and allowed its drivers to race each other, rather than considering letting Bottas past when he appeared to be getting held up by Massa.

GP ANALYSIS: What more could Williams have done?

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said he sympathised with the Williams dilemma and recalled what it was like when the current world champion team was unfamiliar with competing for victories.

"Sometimes I had a bit of deja vu like us in 2013 when you find yourself in P1 and P2 and you're surprised," said Wolff.

"You don't want to risk the team result because it's so amazing.

"It's so easy to say what someone should have done, but I'm not in there and I think they probably got caught on the wrong foot."

Bottas claimed after the race that he felt he could have built a gap if he was in front of Massa, which Wolff agreed with.

The Mercedes chief also explained his team's attempt to trick Williams into making an early pitstop by sending mechanics out into the pitlane with no intention of bringing Hamilton or Nico Rosberg in.

"Probably Valtteri could have built a gap if they let him go," said Wolff.

"It was a bit of a game [in the pits] - we know Williams have more difficulty in making the tyres last.

"We knew that triggering an early stop would make them think we were able to [make the tyres last] and could have caused them problems at the end.

"But they knew they needed more time. For them it was too early, too marginal.

"It would have been too difficult on the prime tyre to finish the race [with an earlier stop]."

shares
comments
Lotus F1 team dealing with creditors after facing winding-up order
Previous article

Lotus F1 team dealing with creditors after facing winding-up order

Next article

Formula 1 legend Adrian Newey designing road car with Aston Martin

Formula 1 legend Adrian Newey designing road car with Aston Martin
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Plus

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
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

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
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