Tyres caught Mercedes out in Hungarian GP - Williams F1's Smedley

Mercedes' shock defeat by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari in the Hungarian Grand Prix happened because the Formula 1 champion team misread the Pirelli tyres' behaviour, reckons Williams's Rob Smedley

Tyres caught Mercedes out in Hungarian GP - Williams F1's Smedley

After locking out the front row, with Lewis Hamilton on pole, Mercedes had been expected to control the Hungaroring F1 race, but Vettel jumped both Silver Arrows at the start and had the pace to pull away at the front.

GP ANALYSIS: A Ferrari resurgence or a gift from Mercedes?

It would have been a one-two for Ferrari had Kimi Raikkonen not suffered an MGU-K failure, while Mercedes - further hampered by incidents for both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - failed to get on the podium.

Williams performance chief Smedley, whose team struggled last Sunday, said: "I was surprised - [Ferrari] were particularly quick.

"If you looked at everybody's pace from Friday and then everybody's pace on Sunday, we are an outlier in one direction and they are an outlier in another direction.

"Talking about tyres, you could clearly see that [Ferrari] were quicker than Mercedes at most points in the race.

"In qualifying that clearly wasn't the case.

"Not that it should be a mitigating factor, but the tyres are clearly not easy to understand.

"Mercedes haven't understood them [in Hungary]."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff agreed Ferrari's pace was "a surprise", but felt the performance swing was more complicated than the Italian team mastering the conditions better.

"We struggled with Nico's car, he couldn't really hold the pace, but Lewis had good pace," said Wolff.

"You cannot over-simplify it by saying they are better in hot conditions, and we are better in the cooler conditions.

"It's a particular circuit. We weren't quick enough on pure pace with one car, and we need to analyse why."

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