2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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WaikeCU
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Tbh, team orders benefit the outcome for the championship. Equality between teammates like Merc does, only works when the car is dominating like from '14-'16. Equality does not work when the competition is fierce. Merc did say they were aiming for equality between Hamilton and Bottas, I supposed they've said that expecting they were dominating the season again, but they are not.

I honestly think that Merc needs to favor Hamilton (if they haven't done already), because eventually it will come back at them if they don't do that. With Vettel and Ferrari now pose a true threat and if realistically Red Bull fighting back towards mid-season onwards, you really want Hamilton to be on top of things.

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Big Mangalhit
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Schuttelberg wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 8:06 pm


3) My agitation and upset post, may be even hurt is not meant for you. It's more to do with the media and Hamilton. Vettel has had a miserable couple of years and the guy is just genuinely doing well. It doesn't take much to show some class which I feel no qualms in saying Hamilton lacks in abundance. He glorifies his easy victories like titanic battles and belittles others achievements to please himself. The media signs his hymns so I guess that's how it goes.
I think what Hamilton did was simply some very clever mind games. He knows the competition is fierce and that he has a lot to gain if Kimi steals some points to Vettel. So basically his remarks will put pressure in two ways.

1) Trying to motivate Kimi to be more aggressive towards Vettel, this could in the best case scenario even lead to a crash or DNF if for instance Vet needs to OT him like in China and he goes too aggressive.

2) Put pressure on Ferrari to even if the situation calls for it later in the season refrain from telling Kimi to stand aside. Especially since Kimi is the driver with most fans out there and you can already see the countless echoes in the media (I notice it especially on Facebook with hundreds of comments of everyday people blaming Ferrari for screwing Kimi)

All is fair in love and war

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Phil
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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garychopper wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 11:24 am
The last one where they kept valteri stint too long to block Sebastian. No?
Yes, but was he compromised?

Lets recap the situation of Barcelona:

1.) Barcelona is notoriously hard to overtake. This is important because...
2.) ...a 2 stop is theoretically faster, but sometimes, a 1 stop may be more beneficial due to track position (see Wehrlein's race)

Mercedes lured Ferrari into pitting Vettel early (lap 14). Vettel pitted for options again, thus it was clear that Ferrari had to stop again. Mercedes stayed out and brought Lewis in on Lap 21 for the prime-tire. This meant that a 1-stop would have been theoretically possible, though very challenging and the question would be at what pace? At that point, Bottas was comfortably sitting in 3rd, with both VER and RAI out of the race. His only challenger was Ricciardo running a distant 4th who had also just pitted on lap 21. Before RIC pitted, the gap from Bottas to Ricciardo was 16.2 seconds. Lets call this his "buffer".

Lets look at some lap times:
Lap 20: HAM: 1:26.446, BOT: 1:27.236, RIC: 1:27.685
Lap 21: HAM: (PIT), BOT: 1:28.315, RIC: (PIT)
Lap 22: HAM: (OL), BOT: 1:27.825, RIC: (OL)
Lap 23: HAM: 1:25.444, BOT: 1:27.415, RIC: 1:26.068
Lap 24: HAM: 1:26.283, BOT: 1:28.429, RIC: 1:26.365
Lap 25: HAM: 1:26.351, BOT: 1:29.776, RIC: 1:26.191
Lap 26: HAM: 1:25.501, BOT: (PIT), RIC: 1:26.352

What we can see here is that Bottas had a very comfortable margin over Ricciardo in 4th. He was consistently running slower than both HAM and VET throughout the 1st stint, but quicker than Ricciardo before RedBull pitted him. When RedBull pitted Ricciardo, they pitted him for primes (just like Hamilton). Between then and when they pitted Bottas (5 laps), Bottas lost around 10 seconds towards Ricciardo. Thus when Bottas rejoined into Lap 27, he still had a gap of 6.4 seconds.

No doubt, keeping Bottas helped Lewis in holding up Vettel. But didn't it help Bottas himself too? At that point, he was actually battling for position with Vettel. Assuming Vettel had not found a way past Bottas, Vettels race would have been substantially compromized. Bottas only needed to cover Ricciardo who was on the same strategy. A 1-stop not out of the question. Hold up Vettel for as long as possible and then pit at the latest moment before Ricciardo would be ahead and then go long on the mediums till the end. The question then would have been if Bottas could have stayed within a gap of less than a pitstop to Vettel. If yes, Vettel would have needed to pass Bottas for position later in the race.

Did it help Lewis's race? Absolutely. Did it compromise Bottas? Not at all. In fact, I would say the clear opposite. There was no risk from behind, as there was a healthy margin to Ricciardo (16.2 seconds by Lap 20). Bottas was clearly running slower than both Hamilton and Vettel throughout the first stint, so his only chance of gaining a position was to 1-stop and use track position as an advantage. That would have only worked though if he would have successfully kept Vettel behind.

There was nothing to gain by pitting Bottas earlier, as he never had the pace of Vettel or Hamilton and was already 10.7 seconds behind by lap 20.

For reference sake: Wehrlein stopped on lap 33 for his one-stop race.

So no, it didn't compromise his race in the slightest but gave himself, Lewis and the team Mercedes a good shot of gaining a position.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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Gaz.
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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marmer wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 8:49 pm
for all the fuss Hamilton made about his car not working over than the tyres not being in the correct temp he never once said why that is. on sky's build up they spoke to Rosberg who may or may not have spoken to the team. he informed them that they know whats wrong but it cannot be changed never once saying what that problem was. no one from merc has come out and told us what was wrong with the car so either Rosberg is not telling the truth or they don't want us to know.
if it was a broken part they would have fixed it under safety grounds
if it was a issue with setup they could have told us e.g rear anti role too hard.
so it comes down to two options as there is no reason to hide from the two above
1. they believe there is a issue but don't know what (hopefully this one)
2. Hamilton was slow and out of touch for no reason

ps if it was option 2 rosberg got himself a little dig in on world wide tv against Hamilton as the driver could not be changed
Does Mercedes swap chassis between drivers? I remember the BBC showing Mclaren shipping cars back to the factory in 2010 which showed that the chassis used by Button in Singapore was used by Hamilton in Korea as one example given. Do Merc do this or do they assign chassis #3 to Hamilton and chassis #4 to Bottas for an entire season for example? Where I am going with this is that there hasn't been a race where both drivers have had the same performance. Hamilton was better in Oz, China, Bahrain and Spain, where's Bottas was 'off the pace' at these races, yet Bottas had the upper hand in Sochi and Monaco while Hamilton experianced a markedly different race to his team mate. To ram this point home, was the same chassis used by Hamilton in Oz, China, Bahrian and Spain, and by Bottas in Russia and Monaco, and the second chassis used by Bottas in Melbourne, China, Bahrain, Spain and by Hamilton in Russia and Monte Carlo?
Forza Jules

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Phil
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Regarding the lack of performance...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it has something to do with the very narrow operating range of the Mercedes. The softer the compound so far this year, the more narrow the window seems to be. Logic would dictate that each Mercedes driver drives their car differently - one may be more aggressive (possibly Hamilton), the other more smooth (possibly Bottas). If you have a narrow operating window of the tire that mandates a fine margin or driving style to operate at its full potential, this can be quite problematic.

Either the less aggressive driver fails to get [enough] heat in them or he hits the sweet spot. The former could be a possible explanation for Bahrain.
Sometimes, the more agressive driver gets the sweet spot right or he gets it wrong and overheats them. Possible this was the case for Hamilton in Monaco and Sochi.

Why is this crucial? From what I understand, more pressure equals less contact patch equals less grip. Running too low pressures can be equally bad: It may increase the contact patch and therefore grip, but at the same time, it increases the load on the sidewalls that will cause the temperature within the tire to increase. The last factor in understanding tire performance is that you want the tire surface to be within the ideal temperature range. Too hot could mean that the tires start to smear. Too cold and you will also lose grip.

How do you handle a narrow operating window for two drivers driving the car differently? I'd say it is a very complex problem. You need to find the right starting [pressure] range so that the driver who uses them will get them into the sweet spot and stay there. Too low and the tires will likely get into the temperature range quicker (due to load on the sidewall and flexing of the tire) but then likely go over. Too high and you might not get there at all (or the surface temperature won't get there).

Then you also have to consider that you have 4 tires with different loads given the balance of the car and the track you are driving on. And of course that the car during QF is light and during the race a lot heavier (while reducing weight as you progress during the race).

Anyway, I think the problem Mercedes is facing with the tire temperatures is that the operating window seems to be very narrow. This is probably exaggerated due to the car being overweight (or just about at the minimum weight limit). This means that they can't use ballast as freely as they might need to do make minor corrections. Then of course the rest is probably downforce related; e.g. how and where the car pushes down onto the tires. A complex car makes this more difficult to understand, predict and manage.

I think this issue is rather difficult to solve for the driver. I.e. You can't ask Hamilton to suddenly drive the car like Bottas on some tracks, because his "gift" or potential derives exactly from how he drives the car. Vice-versa for Bottas. So it's up to the team and him as a driver to find the ideal set-up of the car that gets the tires into the ideal working range while on track.

This is just some food for thought and speculation on my part. Feel free to correct me if I am way off in some places.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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lio007
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Is it only me, but I miss media reports with Andy Cowell the last few months. Compared to recent years it's quite silent around him.

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GPR-A duplicate2
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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lio007 wrote:
Wed May 31, 2017 8:31 pm
Is it only me, but I miss media reports with Andy Cowell the last few months. Compared to recent years it's quite silent around him.
He has given exactly 3 interviews in 3 years, all at the beginning of the season (in the weeks of Feb 1st 2015, Feb 21st 2016 and Feb 21st 2017). There haven't been anymore.

And there is one video explaining, what is "De-rating", in the aftermath of 2016 Spanish GP clash of Merc drivers.

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WaikeCU
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Any chance the Merc can't get the tires to work optimally on circuits where we call it a doozy meaning circuits with street surfaces and rather fresh surfaces?

- Melbourne
- Sochi
- Monaco
- Montreal
- Baku
- Mexico
- Singapore


On the other hand, fast flowing open circuits like:

- Shanghai
- Silverstone
- Spa
- COTA
- Suzuka
- RB Ring
- Budapest
- Monza
- Sepang
- Abu Dhabi

are circuits where the Merc should be flying. That's what I think.

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Phil
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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I think the softer tire compounds have just as much to do with it. Also tracks with slow corners might be dependent, so unfortunately, Canada might be a difficult race (Slow corners, US tires).

Just watched this analysis on Auto-Motor-und-Sport by Schmidt: http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/vide ... 64095.html

It pretty much sums up I think what I think is gonna be their main hurdle this year. What was discussed is that apparently, in Monaco, Hamilton found himself with either overheating tires or not enough heat. At a given time, some tires for over, some under. When Bottas was able to "turn them on" though, he showed that he had very good pace in Q3. The main challenge for Mercedes going forward will be on how to consistently bring the tires into the right temperature window and keep them there. Some of it may be due to the DNA of the car, due to the low rake philosophy vs. the high rake approach Ferrari has got (with more spring on the rears) to work that may be better for the tires, so it remains to be seen if Mercedes can get on top of it.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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PlatinumZealot
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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The brake hardware is one of the biggest influence on tyre heating problems. What many people failed to notice was that Bottas had fluctuating temperatures in the Monaco race too. He felt so far behind the Ferraris and was pretty slow on the super soft. Hamilton was fastest on the supersoft at one point. We can basically say it is not down to the drivers. There is inconsistency in the tyre handling of the car. Bottas and Hamilton are known to be very resislient to changes in setup. Why would all of a sudden every other race either driver is nowhere? It is obviously the car guys.
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LH44

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PlatinumZealot
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Told ya..

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/hami ... ontent=www
“Sometimes it’s to do with the brake bias,” Hamilton added. “The last race [Monaco] it was more to do with the brake balance and the mechanical balance – and because we [needed to] do multiple laps [to prepare the tyres].
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LH44

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Schuttelberg
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Phil wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 10:35 am
Schuttelberg,

I genuinely love your posts. I do think that in these particular ones, you are focusing too much on the persona of Hamilton - or better, how he is portrayed by the media.

I have watched pretty much all the post-race interviews that I could find after Monaco and Hamilton never strikes me as you put it. Certainly not the way he comes off as in the written article you posted. He is always very honest when asked questions about the media. Perhaps this is where things go wrong, as some of those answers, sometimes asked in the 'heat of the moment' are not fully representative of the entire situation.

About Ferrari and team-orders - you are right, I was thinking about the Schumacher era too, but much of my focus has been on Ferrari post 2010. I still remember how Massa was ordered to concede position to Alonso and I think much of his lack of performance and motivation in the later stages of his career at Ferrari can be explained by that. I did not want to say that Ferrari always does it - but more to point out, that Mercedes since entering F1 again has been very vocal about NOT being that. Having said that, I don't agree that a team-order is a team-order.

If Mercedes can be blamed to be anything these last few years, it was that they tried to micro manage their drivers to an extend that it limited us of some of that spectacle we could have been seeing. Some of it stems from the fact that they obviously have one single strategist who figured out the most sensible strategy for both cars. This is quite different to when you have one strategist for each driver and both also looking at the other side of the garage as an "enemy". There were also various instances in 2015 and 2016 where it was unclear how "dominant" Mercedes would be, so while I agree that Mercedes let both drivers race because it was beneficial for them to keep the WDC exciting, I do want to point out that things were less clear early on.

Even now, I feel that Mercedes is very much trying to treat both drivers equally. Some like bringing up Bahrain as proof of favoritism at Mercedes - I think it does the opposite: Earlier in the race, Hamiltons strategy was clearly being compromised when he was following Bottas and failed to overtake. Mercedes then ordered Valteri to close the gap to Vettel (in other words to speed up), yet he failed to do that and it took Mercedes around 10 laps until it finally issued the order to let Hamilton by. This was crucial for the later stages of the race. Later in the race, it was very clear that Hamilton was driving in a different league and with fresh tires coming from behind, it wasn't a question of "if" he would get past Bottas, but how long it would take him. The order was a no-brainer, even Bottas understood that. He wasn't in contention for the win, nor for position 2. Not a chance. So the logic of Hamilton wanting to concede that position back is idiotic at best. With the gap he had, to do so would have required him to park the car for an ice-cream stop.

Other instances of team-orders at Mercedes seem to have been quite clear too: Monaco 2016 is another instance where Mercedes acted because they wanted the best team-result. Rosberg clearly had issues and thus the team gave him the opportunity. "Speed up or let your team-mate pass". If you are going to do team-orders - either do it fair or don't. In both these instances, Mercedes gave both drivers the opportunity.

It's a little different if you have two drivers safely in position 1 & 2. I just read an article on AMuS that also suggests that Ferrari was fully aware what might happen when they pitted Kimi first. Both Kimi and Vettel had a reasonable gap to Ricciardo in 3rd and watching the race, they also saw that both Bottas and Max who pitted got into backmarker traffic (2 cars) and later also Sainz who hadn't stopped at that point. There was no reason to pit Kimi at that point. If they had run with a similar ethos of "equality" as Mercedes has in the past, they would informed Kimi that it's time to push and extract everything from the tires he could. Or knowing that the overcut seemed to be quicker, pit Vettel first. Were they under a moral obligation to do that? Obviously not. Would Mercedes have done the same as Ferrari in this race? Maybe. Though I am confident they would not have done that if both their drivers had been Rosberg and Hamilton like in the years before.

I'm just calling it what it is. I fully agree that Vettel was most likely the quicker driver on race day. On the other hand, I also think that Kimi was the faster driver in qualifying. He put that car on pole and in a place like Monaco, that should count for something. If there was any moral obligation towards their driver, IMO it would have been that the leading car gets the best opportunity, the best strategy if you want. He earned that when he qualified best. And tell me what you like, but I can't shake the feeling that Ferrari gave the best opportunity to Vettel which he also used.

Is this right or wrong? Hard to say. From a WDC perspective, likely not. From a WCC perspective? Maybe. We'll see if Kimi can bounce back from this. I also find it a bit sad, given the pressure Kimi has been under by the team to start performing - but when he does, like he did here, he can't rely on the team to give him the best possible chance to win. Trust can go a long way between a driver and his team. If a driver feels he is being shafted by his team, then he might not always follow them or deliver as he should. I think Massa showed this, Baricchello too. I'm pretty sure Kimi is asking himself that, where as Bottas at this point and the last 6 races is not.

If Hamilton (and even Toto) think this is a clear sign that Ferrari is backing one of their drivers more so than the other, I think they are spot on. You'd be blind not to see it and given your posts, I don't quite think you are disagreeing with this. And I think Mercedes - team-orders or not - isn't yet at that point yet. Secretly, they are probably praying that Hamilton will outperform Bottas to the extend that they will not have to, but if Ferrari continues their strong form, they will have to - at least to the point that they will not tolerate one driver being held up by the other. I also think the situations are slightly different: Sadly, Kimi is likely on his way out and driving his last season at Ferrari. Bottas has just arrived at the team. I think Ferrari (and rightly so) are probably less focused of keeping their leaving/aging driver happy, where as Mercedes might be more interested in not sending the wrong signals to their newly appointed driver.

Anyway, Monaco is a very unique race. The field is bunched up, overtaking pretty much impossible. The only way to switch drivers is by strategy or direct team-order. On more typical race-tracks, it will be easier. A faster driver will be less likely to be held up by his team-mate anyway, as to some degree, passing might be possible, so we should see less obvious interference by the team(s).
Phil, I admire your passion but I don't agree completely with your assessment. I love your posts as well and I generally end up learning from them. This one though is one we should agree to disagree on. I think Toto himself said that he didn't smell any favouritism with the Ferrari strategy.

To be honest, more than anything else, I am convinced Ferrari strategists are incapable of pulling off a masterstroke of this magnitude with such precision as well. :D

Good read nevertheless, always wise to pick up a good posters opinion and analyse mine after.
"Sebastian there's very, you're a member of a very select few.. Stewart, Lauda, Piquet, Senna, Prost, Schumacher, Fangio.. VETTEL!"

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Phil
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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True... in the end, its a matter of opinion.

Speaking of which though, i do wonder if there was a point in putting Bottas on the softs for his 2nd stint, other than to gather intel for Hamilton...

Perhaps not quite a team order, not quite favoritism either...

Although to be fair, same strategy or not, it didnt look like Bottas would take the fight to Hamilton any time of the race.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
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WaikeCU
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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Phil wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:26 pm
True... in the end, its a matter of opinion.

Speaking of which though, i do wonder if there was a point in putting Bottas on the softs for his 2nd stint, other than to gather intel for Hamilton...

Perhaps not quite a team order, not quite favoritism either...

Although to be fair, same strategy or not, it didnt look like Bottas would take the fight to Hamilton any time of the race.
Perhaps just gathering data on two seperate tires knowing they had a performance advantage over the guys behind them.

Don't forget: That Merc has some difficulties to make the tires work and there's no such thing as having too much data.

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Re: 2017 AMG Mercedes F1 Team - Mercedes

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Phil wrote:
Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:26 pm
Speaking of which though, i do wonder if there was a point in putting Bottas on the softs for his 2nd stint, other than to gather intel for Hamilton...

Perhaps not quite a team order, not quite favoritism either...

Although to be fair, same strategy or not, it didnt look like Bottas would take the fight to Hamilton any time of the race.
Bothas had a bad flat spot early in the race and had to come on earlier then planned. Probably desire to do one stop led to that choice.