The team explains their problems in qualifying
Brackley’s men tell what happened to Hamilton’s intermediate tires
The Turkish GP was the most difficult for Mercedes in terms of performance. On a newly resurfaced track, the cold and rain did not help Brackley’s at all. Also, qualifying was crazy and there were differences between drivers of several seconds. James Vowles, strategy director of the team, gives the keys to the victory of Lewis Hamilton.
Vowles is clear that it was precisely the behavior of the wheels that prevented them from fighting for pole on that occasion. In addition, he tells how difficult it is for any team to operate tires that have hardly been used.
“These are different circumstances than normal and the teams have to adapt very quickly to make the tires work, to generate enough power, to generate enough temperature and we were in a bad place compared to our rivals,” Vowles said in a video of the team.
“With dry tires we have a lot of experience and we are able to understand how they should work on each new circuit. The same is not the case with intermediate and extreme rain tires. We have data from some circuits where the track may have been a bit wet, but what we need is continuous wet filming to really understand these wheels, “he added.
Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Pérez and Lando Norris chose not to stop in the last part of the race and to let the intermission become practically slick. Vowles has detailed the reasons why this decision worked for all three as the rain did not return. At 44, in fact, it helped him win the race.
“You turn it into a dry tire and it’s like a soft tire at a very low temperature. It’s a soft rubber compound with a grip that works. It’s not a bad thing to wear out the in-between. When you stop and ride new intermediate they come out of the warm blankets and will perform well for a few laps, but after their performance depends on how they wear out under those conditions and that can be complicated at times, “he said.
However, Mercedes did not want to risk Valtteri Bottas to attempt a comeback. Vowles has made it clear that in his case it would have been useless to use dry tires or focus on a different strategy than the rest of his rivals.
“The track was still wet in places and we had a hard time getting the tires to work. This is the kind of risk you take when you can gain positions and points, but Valtteri was in 15th position. Everyone in front of him could have reacted. “, Vowles pointed out to close.