Verstappen, Red Bull, George Russell Lewis Hamilton discussed on The Autosport Podcast
To see. The tire choice, that obviously was so decisive in this, it seemed like it really seemed like Versace was struggling with tyre where something that we've not really seen the Red Bull be a main weakness on so far this year. He said afterwards that he felt like he was eating the tyres alive. Despite starting on the mediums, a Christian Horner explained on Sky Sports saying that the plan was basically start on the mediums, survive the first sort of 12, 14 apps, and then should be okay. It was like 15 when Russell actually got him, so the soft definitely hung on a little bit longer. Mercedes, they said that their data showed that the medium was not a very good tyre to be on from what they saw in practice. But obviously Red Bull does have an advantage. She's now saving a set of softs as they go into Sunday's race. Matt, you spoke with the top three, so including George Russell Lewis Hamilton after the sprint race. What did they say about that split entire and what did you make of it? Do you think Red Bull simply got it wrong today going for the medium with Verstappen? In hindsight, of course I did, but you know, give Red Bull strategists their Jews considering how brilliant they've got it a lot of the season. Both Mercedes drivers came out in a press conference. This was not a clear cut choice. This isn't like hungry when Ferrari put on the hard tyres and everyone, everyone could go what on earth are you doing? It's not even like Mexico where it surely surely to everyone else. It was thought Mercedes were playing it way too safe by not splitting their strategies. This was not that sort of clear cut decision I think it was a lot more a little more 50 50. However, in terms of to bring in sort of my personal opinions that are quoting the drivers. Tonight, once you've done this podcast, I'll go and write this feature about what have we learned from a sprint race broken down some of the numbers from epi two in particular. And I think the performance between soft and mediums this weekend has already been marginal to that say, I don't think the medium's pace is the usual sort of 6 tenths off the soft as it is. But also the soft song wearing that much more than the medium. So it's a quite a close title. So the downside obviously of Red Bulls called start a medium is that Verstappen has been struggling with understeer all weekend, which he's never happy with that. That's why the narrative around Monaco and Azerbaijan was that he was being sort of not dominating press like he should because he was struggling with understeer. So when those problems emerged a weekend over the weekend, I think the logical point then is to put this up on the sauce so he has the front end bite and can manage the oversteer. So that's one point, but I would also take the cut up to argument, having a looking at the average lap times from the use of all the drivers or the top 6, so you Mercedes Ferrari and Red Bulls were running in free practice too. Verstappen sort of middling on those the Mercedes were quicker, Perez was much, much quicker on used mediums if they run in comparative fuel loads and all of that. So I suppose if you're looking at that and you're thinking, okay, we think we can get Magnussen done pretty quickly, but we know we've got at least one fry and one Mercedes. It brought on the same compound, perhaps this is part of their thought process we don't know that stage. Perhaps we should do something different or anticipate being on a medium tyre. So instead of knowing where the fourth quickest car at this point, we might actually do something different and then obviously you have the factors like you hope the tire comes to Red Bull that the others do suffer from degradation, but it proved to be the wrong call ultimately. Definitely and I think tomorrow will obviously be the proof in the pudding George Russell was very quick to say afterwards that yeah, it's the big point tomorrow. That's what we want and he'll be a yeah, hoping to sort of remove that mis niner about being an F one race winner and make it legit with victory tomorrow. But you mentioned sort of looking at the numbers and everything like that. Realistically, can Mercedes win tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix? Yes, I'm going to say yes because I think if I throw some rough numbers at you. So if we get the hard tyres used on those Verstappen is the fourth quickest driver, Hamilton's second Russell started prez is actually comfortably quickest again that which would support that narrative if the car is understeering this weekend. He's happier with that. And the difference between the Merckx is a tenth and a half separating the teammates and Hamilton's favor and it's another three tenths back to Verstappen. And this is very much my rounding and my number. So take that with a huge pinch of salt. As for the sauce, again, press leading away Russell Hamilton then Verstappen. And it's sort of about three tenths covering covering those four drivers. So it is, of course, marginal. But the Mercedes case is strong. It's just how they operate because they've been talking already about what we need to work together. We know that we're not the favorites going into this race. So part of that is they're playing down their chances and talking at Red Bull. But we speak to driver so quickly after the sprint race at they've obviously processed a sprint sprint result, but they haven't gone and had their engineering debrief. And that might be the concerted right. Let's work together so we can secure the team result. And that's great. And Russell on paper should have secured the preferential treatment by starting higher in a grid four tomorrow, but that this comes hot on the heels of Mexico as this really nice subplot, whereas Hamilton, where Hamilton was not staying behind his teammate, he was super aggressive fritos, was it turns one, two, and three in Mexico to make sure he got track position, so he would be on the optimal strategy to chase after Red Bull. So obviously they're being team players, the brackley factories had a pretty rough time of it in 2022 by comparison to their previous year. So they want to get the best result possible for the team. But if you're going to break Mercedes Dutch, will we see anything tomorrow if there's a slightly so getaway, for instance, for Russell and it's a case of Verstappen's there. So Hamilton has to get by and whether if they have therefore split strategies, whether they're sort of their plan for the next 50 lapses immediately gone out the window because there's been that change of order. So I think that'll be a horrible, horrible sort of motor sport parlance or whatever or across media, but it really will be fascinating to see Luke. It will be very an overused most for cliche, but I shall let you off with that. It will be though. I think that for Mercedes as well. You look at how far the team has come this year, obviously it went from the early part of the season, struggling so much with the poor person looking miles off the pace that it wouldn't stand a chance of winning a race this season. And then we had the Barcelona update and it thought, okay, we've cured it and then they find out that actually the porpoise isn't the big issue with Carl along. It's something far deeper, far more baked in to the DNA of the car, but we know he's obviously going to change for next year.