GPR-A wrote: basti313 wrote:
Do not put too much into this. It has an agenda.
In reality Ham was cruising for 5 laps and when he picked up the pace on lap 6 he put a 0.5sec pace advantage on Ric with the harder tire. Between the stops Ham put additional 1.8sec on Ric.
So Merc was able not only to prevent an undercut on old tires, but to put something like 0.6sec per lap on the Bull on new tires.
No idea how one can talk about similar pace with these numbers.
Correct. Just to remind, while Lewis and Nico started the race on Softs, Ricciardo was on SuperSofts.
Plus, the way I think, Lewis was constantly bothered about his engine situation and Nico was more mindful of his championship and it can be safe to say, they both were cautious in how they were operating. On the other hand, neither Red Bull drivers had anything to lose and were definitely pushing to their maximum.
While I would like to believe that Red Bull are closing the gap, but knowing how Mercedes has been playing "Carrot and Stick" with Ferrari for the whole of last season, it isn't surprising to see Red Bull getting caught up with that game now. Hope things would be more even next year.
I totally agree on "Carrot and Stick". Whenever Merc needs to pull the trigger in clean air they are off. There are only certain circumstances like Singapore brakes, where they hurt themselves with a too aggressive setup.
I do not agree on Nico in the first stint: I think Lewis did the smart thing many here predicted. I did not think this would be possible, but looking a the laptimes: Lewis was keeping Daniel at an astonishingly constant 1.2sec gap during the first 5 laps. Like this the Bull had no DRS to attack, but a nice slipstream to keep clean from behind. After 5 laps following two cars in dirty air in a 1sec gap Nico's tires were gone. He could not stay close behind Daniel and was in danger of an undercut from Kimi. Once he had clean air, he lapped 0.5sec faster, but that was not enough regarding the pace of Kimi and Max and 0.7sec slower than Lewis. Once the tires were exchanged, the Merc performance was equal until Nico was in the 1sec region of Daniel again.
The same may happen this weekend: If Nico falls behind again and can not immediately overtake, he will not be able to do anything but the undercut. This may work on a Ferrari, but not on a Bull.