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Mercedes explains why it switched Hamilton onto the medium compound

  • Published on 30 May 2019 12:55
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mercedes has offered insight into why it decided to put Lewis Hamilton on the medium compound under the race's one and only safety car.

The safety car was deployed when Charles Leclerc deposited debris on the track after he clipped the barrier at Rascasse, attempting to overtake the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

Mercedes called both Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas into the pits, switching both onto the medium compound. Bottas pitted again on the next lap after making contact with Max Verstappen in the pitlane.

"The reality is, in Monaco, you won’t overtake," said Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles. "So, even though we had the hard tyres ready in the pitlane for Lewis in case we did need to bring him in, we would have ended up just being fourth out of the four cars in that train.

"You can’t overtake, you saw that with Max Verstappen trying really aggressively against Lewis. The bigger question is, why did we fit the medium tyres to Lewis? To answer that, we’ve to go all the way back to Thursday.

"We were one of the top teams to have both medium and soft tyres to run long in FP2. The track conditions were going to be slightly worse there than they were in the race but still representative enough to see how the tyres were performing.

"On those long runs we did on the Mediums, we were able to see that the life was just enough to be able to achieve the stints that happened when the safety car came out. And that’s what triggered our decision.”

Vowles added that the lingering threat of rain also influenced Mercedes' decision to make the switch to the medium tyre rather than the hard.

"The second reason we fitted the medium was that there was a chance of rain during the race. If you could see our weather radar, you would have seen the sea of blue from the east coming towards the circuit.

"That did end up breaking up, with only a little bit of light rain during the race, but we had forecasted it would be a little bit heavier than that. Not enough to go to intermediates, but enough to make things very difficult on dry tyres.

"The medium may have provided slightly more coverage in that situation, being a slightly softer compound, and that’s why we erred on that slightly softer medium tyre.”

Replies (2)

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  • Dert38

    Posts: 242

    Because Valtteri was just faster, yunno

    • + 0
    • May 30 2019 - 19:42
  • Dert38

    Posts: 242

    Everybody knows Merc is conservative and traps aren't conservative yet

    • + 0
    • May 30 2019 - 19:44

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