Brundle points to Mercedes' mistakes: 'It looked like they had the advantage'

22-06-2021 12:10 | Updated: 22-06-2021 13:33
F1 News
Brundle points to Mercedes' mistakes: 'It looked like they had the advantage'

A strategic move by Red Bull Racing allowed Max Verstappen to win last Sunday's French Grand Prix. He did this by overtaking Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages. In the opening lap, it looked like the race wouldn't end so exciting, notes Martin Brundle in his column for Sky Sports.

"At first it appeared that Mercedes had the upper hand and Bottas looked particularly quick as the trio pulled away from Perez and the rest of the field. But Mercedes were using their tyres harder and Bottas apparently had a vibration from a lock-up and so they pitted him first of the leaders," Brundle recalled. The German team's attempt to have Bottas overtake Verstappen via strategy failed and turned into an attack by the Dutchman.

Red Bull takes the gamble

"For all the world it looked as if Mercedes thought they'd undercut Verstappen with Bottas and then keep Lewis in the lead. They say not, but they lost out big time," because in the laps that followed, the three drivers were close to each other and Hamilton seemed to want to attack Verstappen at times. That didn't work out, however, and after the Dutchman closed a gap on the seven-time world champion, Red Bull's alternative strategy kicked in.

"Red Bull returned the compliment from Barcelona earlier this year by giving up track position and committing to a two stopper by pitting Max on lap 32. It was too late for Mercedes to respond and so the only two levers they had left to pull was for Bottas to hold Verstappen up as he steamed through on fresh medium tyres, and for Hamilton to magic up some pace on old tyres just as he has done many times before."

"Neither lever was enough to stop a brilliant Verstappen victory in an enthralling race," Brundle concluded.

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