Mercedes said that missed the victory at the Grand Prix of Australia because of an error in tactics, and just because the Ferrari was faster.
Lewis Hamilton started from pole position and was leading until a pit stop on the 18th lap. After returning to the track, the Briton was max Verstappen, lost at this time and in the end Sebastian Vettel after his stop was still ahead.
“The Ferrari was the fastest car, and they were from the beginning closely followed us, – quotes Wolff Sky Sports F1. – We were worried about the fact that they can try to be ahead of us due to the earlier stop. We knew that after the pit-stop Lewis will appear behind max and Kimi. That’s what eventually happened. Ferrari worked very well”.
Non-Executive Chairman of Mercedes Niki Lauda added: “the Ferrari was faster. They dominated from start to finish. Has no value, would stay Hamilton sooner or later.”
However, Ferrari chief engineer Jock Klia believes that before the pit stop it was not so obvious as it might seem.
“We understood that we have a good pace and you can try to go forward with an earlier stop in the pits, he said. – Vettel is very close to Hamilton, then to stop, but Lewis went to the pit lane early.
After that we decided to stay on track as long as possible and to attack Hamilton at the end of the race. But he was in traffic and we were able to come out ahead. Admittedly, we were lucky that he was here for max”.
Tactics Mercedes raised some questions in the paddock.
“If a rider is ahead, the position is not so important, but today it was not so. I don’t know what I did in the Mercedes,” said COO Force India Otmar, Szafnauer.
The Sky Sports F1 expert Ted Kravitz added: “I can’t understand how they didn’t see that Hamilton could come back behind Verstappen?”
“I don’t think it was their finest hour,” concluded Martin Brandl.
Text broadcast of the race in Melbourne with photos and video can be viewed on our website.
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