mwillems wrote: SmallSoldier wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:00 pm
But if we had a faster car we could restart on Mediums and we wouldn't have kept up with Max in those first few laps, so I don't think it would be any different. The only difference was that we tried to go for track position early as we didn't have a clear speed advantage over Ferrari at that point without the tyres.
There is still a considerable gap to the front runners on race pace, there is no denying that... But Lando not chasing after Verstappen after the restart was simply in order to protect the tires and not be a sitting duck at the end of the race.
Why the Soft Tires versus the Mediums? Not because of how fast the car is, but how much faster you can warm the Soft tires... In a track that still showed to be a very difficult one to overtake, that move on Leclerc was critical and it was mainly due to Tire delta on that lap... After that it was a matter of nursing the tires during 80% of the lap and push in the last 2 corners to make sure there was enough gap with Leclerc for the main straight.
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If the car was faster then it wouldn't need soft tyres to jump the Ferrari and make a gap, they'd do it on the more durable tyres, in the same manner as some cars can run Q2 on yellow marked tyres.
Mclaren didn't think that was the best option as the car didn't have enough pace to get by the Ferrari with both cars being on the same tyre at roughly the same temperature. It was strategy to trade off durability v immediate tyre performance in Lieu of raw speed.
You also assume that max was going full beans, but I very much doubt he was.
Passing at Imola was extremely difficult as proven by both Lando with Leclerc (who was on the DRS for almost the entirety of the time after the restart), as well as by Daniel, who even when he was behind Lando’s pace all race, managed to keep Stroll (also on DRS for most of the end of the GP) behind.
The team has better data than either of us and this time around, their gamble paid off... There was no assurance that Lando would have been able to make the move on Leclerc on Mediums and following Leclerc would have hampered performance regardless... Therefore starting on Mediums could have easily meant finishing P4 regardless (assuming Hamilton would have passed both Lando and Leclerc)... The opportunity was at the start, where been able to have tires on the best operating temperature (at a very cold track) would give an advantage... Gaining track position early is what gave Mclaren a podium... Leclerc was faster than Lando and had a tire advantage towards the end, but he just couldn’t complete the move.
Regarding Max going full beans... I don’t know, but what I can tell is that at that point in the race, Hamilton was also closing the gap to him, so I don’t think he was just cruising knowing his lead was shrinking... The reality is that even when the front runners are cruising, most often than not they still have a huge delta to the cars in the midfield, in this case, Lando’s times were close to Max’s that is very impressive indeed.
Also... There was no reason for Lando to “attack” and degrade his tires more than necessary after the restart, he had one job and that was to keep Leclerc behind... It wasn’t as if he could have overtaken Max at the front... So that 0.8 second a lap that Max pulled on Lando was more due to his strategy to defend than pace on the car.
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