The success of Max Verstappen in the French Grand Prix it allowed the Dutch driver and Red Bull to widen their advantage over Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in their respective world rankings. The Paul Ricard match was extremely balanced and the ‘bulls’ managed to prevail mainly thanks to the strategy. A real “vengeance” for the Barcelona race, when the silver arrows won the battle at the wall. The trackside engineering director of the Brackley stable, Andrew Shovlin, tried to explain in the usual Race Debrief published on the team’s YouTube channel, what were the determined factors that led Hamilton to lose the GP.
Horner: “Mercedes had to stop Lewis immediately”
The first aspect is that ofundercut operated by Verstappen on the seven-time world champion. Shovlin admitted that “In hindsight it would have been right” recall the English immediately after Bottas, thus anticipating Red Bull. “The reality was that we had 3.2 seconds of gap between Lewis and Max and we thought this was enough to protect themselves from the undercut “ the Mercedes engineer recognized. It is also interesting to understand where the W12 # 44 lost the time which was then decisive at the exit of the pits. “The pit stop itself was good – explained Shovlin – we lost some time at the end of the lap, because Lewis had old tires, and we also had some wheel spin starting from the pits. On this too we paid something“.
Marko thanks Perez: “Impossible strategy without him”
Finally Shovlin went into detail on the reasons why it was not possible for Hamilton to ‘copy’ strategy a two stops adopted by Verstappen. “For Lewis the main problem in passing the two stops was there Perez’s position on the track. He had done a much longer first stint and had fresh tires. Lewis should have overtaken him on the track, but they had an advantage in terms of top speed and tires [di Perez] they were still in good condition. We thought it would waste too much time trying “, concluded the 47-year-old from Liverpool.