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Palmer sees 'recurring theme' at Mercedes with wrong strategies

Palmer sees 'recurring theme' at Mercedes with wrong strategies

01-11-2022 11:30 Last update: 13:17


Mercedes finished second and third during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix. In the race, Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line second behind Max Verstappen, while George Russell finished fourth behind Sergio Perez. According to Jolyon Palmer, choosing the wrong strategy is starting to become a recurring theme for Mercedes.

Mercedes appeared to have chosen the wrong strategy with mediums and hard tyres in Mexico, while Red Bull Racing started on softs and changed to mediums. Hamilton managed to keep up well with Verstappen in the opening laps, but after his pit stop, the Briton could not keep up with his rival on the hard tyres. The seven-time world champion crossed the finish line with a 15-second gap towards Verstappen. Also in Austin, Hamilton could not match the Dutchman's pace on hard tyres in the closing stages of the race.

Mercedes were lucky that Ferrari did not perform well in Mexico, allowing the team to score more points than the Italians. The gap towards P2 in the constructors' championship is just 40 points with two races to go. Former Formula 1 driver Palmer does think Mercedes needs to fine-tune its strategy if it still wants to win in the last Grands Prix. Hamilton and Russell still do not have a win to their name in 2022.

In the BBC's Chequered Flag podcast Palmer reacts to Verstappen's win margin. "It looked more than it should have been, because Mercedes didn’t maximise what they could do. I feel like it’s a little bit of a recurring theme sometimes for Mercedes. They are close, they are nearly there." According to the Briton, the team could have already won at Zandvoort if they had made the most of it.

Palmer understands Hamilton's strategy

The F1 expert particularly struggles to understand Russell's strategy. Mercedes should have brought the Briton in for a set of softs to give him a chance to pass Perez for P3. Indeed, with Daniel Ricciardo, the team could clearly see that the soft tyre was performing well. The Australian flew through the field in the closing stages of the race and finished on P7, despite a 10-second time penalty.

"They had data from others. They would be able to simulate that and know roughly what would have happened." That Hamilton did not switch to softs in the closing stages Palmer understands, as the Briton would have had to sacrifice second place. Russell, however, had nothing to lose because of the gap towards Carlos Sainz. "The Hamilton one I think is a justifiable decision. I don’t think it was the right one in hindsight but you can see the logic to it."