Mercedes sorrowful: 'Didn't see the opportunity we were giving Verstappen here'

05-05-2021 19:14 | Updated: 05-05-2021 21:01
F1 News
Mercedes sorrowful: 'Didn't see the opportunity we were giving Verstappen here'

Where it seems Mercedes has to rely on strategy rather than speed to keep Red Bull Racing behind them this season, the Silver Arrows admitted to making a big mistake on this front in Portugal. Looking back on the past Grand Prix, chief strategist James Vowles argues that Bottas should have pitted much later to chase the fastest lap.

Asked at the usual Mercedes debrief, whether the team acted wrongly by bringing Bottas in for a set of soft compound tyres a few laps before the end of the race, Vowles states, "The short answer is yes."

"The soft tyre was a difficult tyre to get working and more so we felt that perhaps a couple of attempts at it would be on the safer side," the team's chief strategist said. By a stroke of luck Bottas held on to his fastest lap, as the FIA took away Verstappen's winning time due to track limits.

Opportunity for Verstappen

Vowles believes the decision was particularly unwise as it also gave the competition time to switch for a fresh set of tyres. "It was foolish and in truth we hadn’t fully considered all the consequences of us stopping that much earlier, providing an opportunity for Verstappen to also stop", he said. Just a shame the competition didn't manage to turn this rare mistake to their advantage at Portimao.

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