Mercedes just can't grasp Verstappen undercut error

Mercedes struggled to comprehend after Sunday's French Grand Prix how its calculation model had underestimated Max Verstappen's ability... The post Mercedes just can't grasp Verstappen undercut error appeared first on F1i.com.

Mercedes just can't grasp Verstappen undercut error

Mercedes struggled to comprehend after Sunday's French Grand Prix how its calculation model had underestimated Max Verstappen's ability to undercut Lewis Hamilton early on in the race.

Hamilton had seized the lead from Verstappen on the opening lap after the Red Bull driver had briefly left the track at the second corner.

Verstappen was among the first drivers to pit for a medium to hard tyre swap. Hamilton, who pressed on as the Dutchman stopped to build a gap, followed suit a lap later.

But much to the Mercedes camp's surprise, the Briton rejoined the track behind the Red Bull driver.

While Verstappen had executed a near perfect out lap on the hard rubber, Mercedes still believed that it had just the right time in hand to allow Hamilton to remain ahead. But ultimately, its numbers didn't add up.

"We thought when we had just over three seconds to Max, we were safe from the undercut, and that wasn't the case," explained Mercedes engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

"Even now, we don't fully understand why our models were telling us that we would have been OK. So clearly there's something we need to go off and understand there."

Even considering Verstappen's impressive out lap, there remained half a second of lost time that Mercedes could not account for.

"The hard tyre was good, and it was it was good out of the box," Shovlin added. "But that's the bit we still need to go through because we haven't yet understood quite why we lost the position.

"We can account for about two and a half seconds of the three seconds. But it's something that we need to dig into the fine detail to understand how we were undercut from so far back because we weren't expecting that."

  • Read also: Wolff 'loved' that Bottas spoke his mind in French GP

Although Mercedes had pitted Valtteri Bottas early – on lap 17 – due to a tyre vibration issue, it declined to bring in Hamilton a lap later, fearing the early stop would jeopardize the latter's ability to run to the end on the hard tyre.

"It was uncomfortably early to go to the end, which, I think as the race played out, you saw that that was the case," Shovlin said. "And also the concern on Valtteri’s car was that he was getting an increasing vibration that was getting worse and worse every lap, that was starting to get to levels where we will box the car for reliability concerns.

"So really, the focus was on making sure that we didn't have an issue on track with him, so that was why we did it.

"In reality, Valtteri's stop triggered, the pit stops at the front of the grid. And that was what drove us to having to do a very long, long stint with Lewis."

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Abu Dhabi set to modify F1 lay-out to boost overtaking

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix promoters have announced that several changes will be made to the Yas Marina circuit... The post Abu Dhabi set to modify F1 lay-out to boost overtaking appeared first on F1i.com.

Abu Dhabi set to modify F1 lay-out to boost overtaking

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix promoters have announced that several changes will be made to the Yas Marina circuit this summer to help boost overtaking opportunities for this year's race.

The United Arab Emirates track has often been criticized for its lack of action, a shortfall highlighted by the fact that the venue has in the past been the scene of a championship showdown.

Yas Marina has therefore devised a plan that features a series of changes and alterations centered around the track's two slowest series of corners.

"We’ve been looking at improving the racing on the track," said Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management

"We’ve been listening to our spectators, the fans, the drivers, F1 and the FIA, and we’ve been working on making some changes, exciting changes, this year to the layout of the track.

"We will be undergoing some modifications to the track over the summer in time for this year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix."

Details of the circuit's modifications will be publicly revealed in the coming weeks, but the changes involve two specific areas.

The run down to Turns 5, 6 and 7 that ends with a tight hairpin that everyone exits at the same speed is expected to be replaced by a single short radius corner that will lead on to the back straight.

Also, the current complex that includes Turns 11,12,13 and 14 will also be replaced by a single radius left-hand corner that will be slightly banked.

  • Read also: British GP hopeful of hosting large crowd despite extended lockdown

"The objective ultimately is to create more opportunities for close wheel-to-wheel racing," added Al Noaimi.

"We want to create more overtaking opportunities and to overall create a faster flowing race track, given the current rules of the vehicles.

"So we're really looking forward to seeing some overtaking and action, and hopefully the championship will come down to the wire and be determined here."

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The post Abu Dhabi set to modify F1 lay-out to boost overtaking appeared first on F1i.com.

Source : F1 i More   

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