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Red Bull chief strategist: 'Twenty seconds can feel like a lifetime'

Red Bull chief strategist: 'Twenty seconds can feel like a lifetime'

18 August - 19:25


After the Hungarian Grand Prix, Hannah Schmitz was - not for the first time - put in the limelight by Red Bull Racing. The team's pit stop strategy, which included two undercuts, played a key role in Max Verstappen's victory. Schmitz explains how she keeps her cool, even when the atmosphere around her gets 'intense'.

As Senior Strategy Engineer, Schmitz is ultimately responsible for making decisions about the Austrian racing team's pit-stop strategy, determining when Verstappen and Sergio Perez should come in for their stop. How such a decision ends is not always clear in advance. "It's incredibly exciting. You almost do sit on the edge of your seat when you've made a decision," Schmitz told the Beyond the Ordinary-Red Bull podcast.

Twenty seconds can feel like an eternity'

Especially in Monaco, it was not clear how far Perez would get ahead of the Ferrarion the track. "So you make that split second decision, but then you've got maybe twenty seconds, which sounds like hardly any time to us right now, but in a race, sitting there waiting to see if your decision's paid off, that can feel like a lifetime," the strategist continues.

For Schmitz, it is crucial to stay calm and maintain the team's composure even when things start to get tense. To be prepared for anything, she keeps countless scenarios in her head that she has already thought up at home, but also knows how to adapt if something unexpected happens. In addition, she meditates before a race to stay optimally focused.

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