zibby43 wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:56 pm
My point was that he was not making it to the end on the Mediums, with how they had been run up until the point he ultimately pitted. A number of people in the thread were arguing that he could have easily held off Bottas for P1. Which was laughable to me. I think he would've found it difficult to maintain P2, at the very least.
If he would've babied them from the start, that's another story.
But that's a "what-if" - and I did address the other "what-if" at the end of the post, which involved a much better strategy for Hamilton by undercutting VET.
Pushing a hard pace doesn't ultimately destroy tire life, if they tires were within temp then they were likely okay.
Also tire deg is a complete unknown. Several cars had drastically lower tire deg as the race progressed which shouldn't be surprising as having been pressure washed by a typhoon it was about as green as a track can get but later in the race with rubber down a lot of cars were going longer without losing as much tire life at all like Ricciardo, Sainz, etc.
Hamilton saying they could/couldn't make it is somewhat irrelevant. Unless he wants to continue a public argument with the team by making a very public stance that he could definitely have made it to the end then the diplomatic and sensible stance is to put it behind you and tell the media there wasn't any alternative.
As for tires that can't go as long, only the first stint was really at all slow. In general, and look up any track on race fans, the overall pace per stint is set at the start of a stint. They didn't all go 3 seconds a lap faster but by the end of his stint he had lost 3 seconds of lap time they were in the 94.5-95s lap range from lap 3 to lap 14, Hamilton did one 95.6, then a 94.7 and two 95.2/3s before he pitted. The other guys started their stint at roughly 93s(Bottas did one low 92 then dropped down as obviously that was pushing it on temps. Ham started off at a 92.9 or and before he pit he did a 93.1 before pitting, in fact Vettel went slower than him on that lap.
There was absolutely no indication from pretty much anyone in the whole race of major tire drop off or major tire wear. Ricciardo did 29 laps on the medium and he started on them, he did 22 laps on the soft no problem. Hamilton's tires hadn't given up after 21 laps on the soft at the start.
It's just that the tire temps at the start on heavy fuel and green track meant an abnormally large delta for the fast teams at the front before the first stop. After that point and for most other teams there simply wasn't that level of lap time improvement.
I'd say most data suggests he could likely pretty easily have gone to the end and that his lap times weren't at all an issue and were no where near slow enough, nor Bottas and Vettel anywhere near fast enough to make an easy pass on him.
The most critically important part of this is, there was a full 40 second gap behind Vettel and 10 laps to go. If Bottas catches and passes both.... who cares? If the lap times truly drop off, who cares, what's he going to do, come out 20 seconds behind Vettel with 5 laps to go and end up third? This is a track where track position is king. There was little evidence of dropping lap times, Bottas or vettel gaining or a reason why he couldn't go 10 laps longer.
You're telling me the softs can go 21 laps without any real lap time loss and the mediums couldn't go further even though Renault with meh tire wear did 29 laps on a heavy fuel with a green track and the car with the best tire wear can't do two laps more on a rubbered in track with a light car.
It was a nonsense decision to bring him in, he was ahead through going longer and trying a one stop and then when it was clear that was going to beat not only Vettel but Bottas easily, they dropped him back to third which frankly is a joke of a decision.