F1Krof wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:18 pm
. . . Mercedes is nowhere near at being the best at managing tyre temperatures and extracting the maximum performance out of them.
Over a single lap, they have definitely, at times (e.g., China) struggled with keeping the tires in the window. They didn't struggle in Melbourne or Barcelona, though.
Hamilton struggled with overheating his tires in the race in China, but otherwise, the W09 has been significantly better than the W08 in 2 crucial areas thus far:
1) Race pace.
Last year, Ferrari was clearly the quickest car in race trim. That was evident in Melbourne in '17. Also, Mercedes went backward during the race in Bahrain in '17.
This year, the Merc was the fastest car in Australia. They were neck and neck with Ferrari in terms of race pace in both Bahrain and China. In China, Bottas, Merc's #2, was able to keep within 3.3 sec of Vettel and had enough pace in the tires to pull off a beautifully executed undercut.
2) Tire degradation management in race trim.
The W08 killed its rear tires early in the '17 season. Merc was clearly suffering from the results of the last-minute suspension ban. And the car was overweight (nullifies ability to use ballast for easy balancing, etc.).
This rear tire degradation issue severely compromised Merc's race pace.
The W09 has shown itself to be near the top of the field, along with Ferrari, in terms of tire degradation/management.