Mercedes: 'Best thing you can do is just copy Verstappen'

24-11-2021 18:24 | Updated: 24-11-2021 19:02
F1 News
Mercedes: 'Best thing you can do is just copy Verstappen'

Although Max Verstappen started the Qatar Grand Prix from seventh on the grid, he was already in second place within five laps. The Dutchman is not really a threat to Lewis Hamilton though. Red Bull's strategy is also no match for Mercedes, who simply copied Verstappen's strategy.

Reply on Verstappen

When Verstappen comes in for his pit stop, Hamilton dives right in behind him on the next lap. In the Mercedes Debrief Andrew Shovlin agrees that this was purely in response to Verstappen. "This is quite normal when you are in a championship battle. Especially when you control a race and are in the lead," said Mercedes' trackside engineering director.

Hamilton had built up a comfortable lead over Verstappen on the race, but was still very clear about the risks of an undercut by Verstappen, according to Shovlin. "The best thing you can do if you want to finish ahead of Max is just copy what he did one or two laps earlier."

Unfortunate situations

Shovlin also explains how a misstep with strategy can throw the race. "What you don't want is to follow a completely different strategy because there's an unfortunate safety car or maybe the tyre degradation doesn't work out the way you expect. Then you could well lose that lead. So if you see Max leading any of the remaining races, I think they will do something similar."

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