The French Grand Prix was physically decided two laps to go, with the overtaking operated by Max Verstappen to the detriment of Lewis Hamilton at the end of the Mistral straight. The real theme that has dehydrated the race, however, was the strategic one, with Red Bull having the better of Mercedes twice. First with the undercut with which Verstappen overtook the English world champion, covering himself at the same time from the stop operated by Valtteri Bottas, and then with the decision taken by the Milton Keynes team to go on the two stops. A move that in the past, even during this season, had been successfully adopted by Mercedes.
Hamilton defends the team: “Surprising undercut”
This time, however, the silver arrows opted for the single stop, despite the radio complaints coming mainly from Valtteri Bottas. After the race, however, it was Lewis Hamilton who tackled the issue of strategies. According to the Stevenage driver, with the same number of pit stops, Mercedes could in fact have beaten Verstappen. “A two-stop strategy would have potentially done the job – Hamilton explained, as reported by the site RaceFans – but it was not at all among our options. So we’ll do some analysis and try to understand why. We did a great job today, it just didn’t work out – added Hamilton – so I’m not very disappointed. I think I’ve done the best job possible“.
Wolff fa mea culpa: “We did something wrong”
Hamilton then also commented on the overtaking immediately by Max Verstappen, specifying to those who contested his little ‘nastiness’ in closing that he would not have had the chance to resist anyway. “Firstly, there were marbles inside, so I didn’t want to make my tires worse. He had the DRS open and if he hadn’t passed me there, he would have passed me on the next straight. So it made no difference. I didn’t have the front, he would have passed me either way. It was useless to defend harder. I think you saw what happened to Valtteri: he ended up going straight – concluded Hamilton – then there was no point in further ruining the tires“.