Oct 29, 8 months ago

Hamilton’s Mexico strategy inspired by Ricciardo : Toto Wolff

Hamilton’s Mexico strategy inspired by Ricciardo : Toto Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that Lewis Hamilton’s dicey one-stop Mexican Grand Prix strategy was concocted mid-race after inspiration from Renault and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton was able to eke 48 laps out of the hard compound tyre to turn an early pit-stop into a race-winning moment as Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas ran out of time to catch him at the end of the race on more conventional one-stoppers.

The British driver secured a true champion’s victory at the Mexican Grand Prix but much as he rightly revelled in a win scored completely against the odds, the championship champagne remains on ice for one more week at least.

With his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing in third, Hamilton must wait until the next round in Austin, Texas before, surely, securing his sixth Formula One world title.

With the front-runners starting on medium tyres and weighing up whether to stop once or twice, the timing of Hamilton’s stop, after 23 laps, appeared to suggest that he would need another service.

But Mercedes had clocked Ricciardo’s efforts on the hard tyre, indeed the Australian managed to go 50 laps from the start to aid his climb from 13th on the grid to eighth at the chequered flag, and it also helped Hamilton take victory from P3 on the grid.

“We knew that we had to take a risk,” said Wolff.

“When you are starting third and sixth it is easier to come up with some bold strategies provided that you have a good car, which we had today, and fantastic drivers.

“We knew we had to do something different. Then we saw Ricciardo going long on the hard tyres with intriguing lap times.

“Then we had quite some discussion and at the end what James [Vowles] and his strategy partner opted for was to go long worked out.”

Strategy chief Vowles had to take to team radio to convince Hamilton that the strategy was doable as the driver began to sound panicked over the airwaves, but Wolff could understand his star man’s apprehension.

“When you are out there in the car alone and you have not the visibility [of] what is happening around you it is, even for the best one, good to get reassurance. I think that is kind of a psychology that works.”


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