(Motorsport-Total.com) – Actually, Lewis Hamilton could have qualified on the medium tires in Q2. His time of 1: 26.183 minutes would have been enough for fourth place and thus easily. However, Mercedes played it safe and sent the world championship leader once again on soft tires, with which he could also improve (Formula 1 2020 live in the ticker).
© Motorsport Images
So tomorrow Hamilton will start like everyone else in the top 10 on softs. Whether that was the right decision remains to be seen, but Hamilton himself would have preferred to hit the medium. “I just wanted to do something different, but the team decided to give both of us the same tire,” said the Briton after qualifying.
In retrospect, he has to admit: “I’m sure it was the right decision because the other tire would have been a bit hard.”
That was also the way of thinking at the Silver Arrows command post. Because in the cooler conditions, the harder tire would have been at a significant disadvantage at the beginning, says Motorsport Director Toto Wolff. “It is clear that the Soft is the right tire to take off,” he says. “Lewis agreed to that too.”
Medium at the start a clear disadvantage
According to Wolff, you would lose three or four meters to the competition at the start on Medium. “So there is no point in taking such a big risk,” says the Austrian. “You could see that no one would qualify on the medium in Q2. So you would have a real disadvantage in the first few laps. It was a clear decision.”
Polesitter Bottas also says: “I’m happy to be on the soft.” Because when he tried the medium in training, he was not enthusiastic. “When the track got better, we tried it on me and my run was pretty bad,” said the Finn. “I just couldn’t get enough temperature in the tires.”
Red Bull recognized this from the start and never considered not starting on soft tires.
According to Hamilton, however, he simply wanted an alternative strategy. Wolff knows that Hamilton is not happy with second place and would rather do something different than drive behind the other car on the same tires. “That’s not the way he works,” he emphasizes. However: In Q2, Hamilton could not have known that he would end up behind Bottas.
Hamilton: “Then I’ll go with a scarf …”
What will be the right decision in the end is pretty uncertain this time around. Because the entire Friday fell into the water, the teams hardly collected any data for the long runs. “If you pull on a different mixture than the soft, you don’t know how it will behave,” says Bottas. Then maybe it can make it interesting. “
“I have no idea either, we’ll see that tomorrow,” said Hamilton. He does not know how the tires will behave in the cold temperatures, whether there is graining, how many stops you will make and whether there will be problems if the safety car drives slowly around the track.
But he knows one thing: “If it gets even colder, then I’ll have to drive with my scarf.”
Meanwhile, Toto Wolff has no concerns before Sunday: “We’re not so much in the dark. It’s simply about adapting to the new situation, working with less data and accepting that tomorrow ‘learning by doing’ will be more popular will be “, said the Austrian. “We don’t have any data from long runs and don’t know whether the hards or the mediums will be right.”
“But I think that’s super exciting,” said Wolff.