(Motorsport-Total.com) – He switched from rain tires to intermediates on lap eight and then no longer to the finish on lap 58: Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton brought the Turkey Massive Prix over 250 kilometers on just one set of tires. In the end there was hardly anything left of the initial profile. Was that a calculated risk from Mercedes?
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In a video clip that has now been published by the racing team, team strategist James Vowles talks about the fact that his team had actually planned such a tactic.
His explanation: “When the track dries out, the uppermost rubber layer on the intermediate wears off. It starts with the profile, which is actually there to displace the water.”
Crazy intermediates as perfect tires
“In our tumble we were dealing with a wet track. There wasn’t enough water left to displace. Then you drive down the intermediate until it is a slick. This slick then behaves roughly like a Cushy tire at low temperatures. “
And exactly this” Cushy “tire turned out to be extremely suitable for the slippery and cool conditions in Istanbul . “We had a grippy tire that worked,” says Vowles. “That’s why it’s not a bad thing to drive down an intermediate.”
“Because when you come to the pits and freshen up If you pick up intermediates that come straight out of the electric blankets, they’ll perform well for a few laps. How it goes on after that in the stint is sometimes difficult to say. “
Only the rain would have Hamilton can stop
Some drivers who had made a second stop and brought in new intermediates, they really collapsed afterwards. Unlike Hamilton: He turned it up again in exactly this piece after initially sparing his tires.
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“It became clear to united states that shutting down the intermediates would be the key to success,” says Vowles. “There was no further rain to be seen on the radar image either. And the tires held up.”
“Of course: if there had been problems or if the tire performance had dropped, we would have reacted immediately and brought Lewis in for the stop. The biggest concern, however, was about possible rain in the final laps. Then we would have got into difficulties because he was basically on slicks. “
Too little data on intermediates and rain tires
“In the worst Tumble he would have just been in Turn 1 and would have had to do a lap in the heavy rain. Fortunately, however, the rain didn’t come and Lewis made it safely over the line. “
Quite risk-free However, this strategy was not, Vowles emphasizes. After all, you don’t have as much experience in the tumble of intermediates as you do with dry tires, where “know-how is lumped together and forecast.” how the tires behave on a new course “.
” We don’t have this luxury, “says Vowles,” for intermediates and rain tires. You only have to discontinue one or the other lap on stretches where it was a bit damp. But we would need sustainably wet conditions in order to develop an understanding of the tires. “
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At least one can fall back on the data from rare situations in the wet and use these empirical values, for example as in the Tumble Hockenheim 2019.
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“So you have about a e idea of what the tire pressure should look like, what temperatures should be applied, “explains Vowles. “But that’s not enough to understand what kind of performance the tire can deliver.” In case of doubt, this should be based on the course of the race.
Speaking of which: some drivers and groups were considering putting on dry tires in Turkey at the end. But no one made this decision, although Mercedes 241090 won the defeated Valtteri Bottas could have used it as a “guinea pig”.
Slicks in the final laps? Was considered!
According to Vowles, the idea was actually in the room. “Towards the end of the race we had to make a decision at Valtteri: switch to intermediates again or risk switching to Cushy? There were a few problems: The track warfare was still damp in parts and the curbs were still wet in parts.”
In addition, Mercedes had a hard time getting the tires up to temperature both in qualifying and at the beginning of the race. “So it wouldn’t have been nice to be the first to risk it. You only take such a risk if you can win positions or points, but Valtteri lope to P 14 “, says Vowles.
The drivers in front of Bottas would have enough Had cushion to make a stop on your part and also to retool to stay relaxed in front of Bottas. “For us,” says Vowles, “nothing would have changed. We would have won practically nothing, including no points.”
“We would only have one risk for the car at united State-taken and the risk of using the wrong tires with no chance of points. And that’s not how we actually work. “