Mercedes saw chances against Red Bull: 'We could have defended'

10-11-2021 15:30 | Updated: 10-11-2021 18:42
F1 News
Mercedes saw chances against Red Bull: 'We could have defended'

At the start of the Grand Prix of Mexico Max Verstappen immediately managed to overtake Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. A crucial moment in the race after which Verstappen could drive unhindered to victory. The question remains whether the Dutchman would have won if Verstappen had not done the overtaking at the start.

Red Bull incredibly fast

In the Mercedes Debrief Mercedes strategist James Vowles addresses that question. "I don't think I need to tell you that Red Bull was incredibly fast in the race, faster than us. They had a much better car. Verstappen was able to drive away from Lewis when he needed to and Perez was on Lewis' tail the whole race."

Yet Vowles did see opportunities for Mercedes. "If we had kept our position at the start, then as a team you can do a bit more. It just gives you a slightly better chance of your leading car being successful. So if we had pulled away and been first and second, there's a good chance we could have defended against the Red Bulls for the whole race."

Defensive strategy from Mercedes

It didn't work out that way, however, and Hamilton found himself between the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Perez coming out of the first few corners. "I'm happy we were able to hold on to that second place. It was a defensive strategy that we applied throughout the race."

For Bottas, the race went a lot less. The Finn eventually crossed the finish line in fifteenth place. "He obviously got much less than he deserved. If he hadn't been hit at the first corner, we should have been fourth at worst, third was more realistic."

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