“Credit to Red Bull, they were faultless today” – Toto Wolff surprised Red Bull’s hard tyre gamble paid off with Max Verstappen cruising to victory in the Dutch Grand Prix.
It was a race with not too many overtakes (barring Sergio Perez’s plethora of moves), with the highlight instead being the tyre strategies employed by title protagonists Mercedes and Red Bull.
Mercedes put Lewis Hamilton on medium tyres to take on Max Verstappen, but Red Bull countered it by putting him on the hard compounds. It was quite a gamble, but it paid off with Verstappen cruising to victory at Zandvoort.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 5, 2021
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is surprised the hard tyres worked so well, despite Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz holding good with it. He admitted they got it wrong with their team strategy today, while Red Bull “were faultless”.
“I think the hard tyre was a bit of a gamble. You could see on the Ferraris it was going well but it was unknown territory. None of us had really run it. We didn’t run it at least.
“I think we had a sniff of an undercut there. We didn’t time it right. In the end, you are always more clever.
“We didn’t expect them to go onto the hard tyre because it was an unknown. We didn’t drive the hard tyre on Friday and we thought we might be pushing them early with the soft but it is what it is.
“When you have the quickest car on track, whatever you try on strategies it is difficult but credit to him, credit to Red Bull, they were faultless today.”