“If we had gone slightly longer”– Mercedes believes they should have called Lewis Hamilton two laps later to give more differential against Fernando Alonso.
After a long hustle, Lewis Hamilton could have won the Hungarian Grand Prix, but Fernando Alonso blocked him until it was too late to challenge for the win.
Now Mercedes’ technical director Mike Elliot believes that the Brackley based team should have called the Briton two laps later to obtain more differential in tyres, which would have allowed Hamilton to overtake Alonso with ease and further challenge for the win.
“You might think if we had brought him in earlier, that would have given us more opportunity at the end of the race to fight for the win,” said Elliott in Mercedes’ Hungarian Grand Prix debrief.
“The reality is that what we were trying to do is to maximise the tyre differential. So, around Hungary, it is challenging to overtake. So if we had gone earlier, the differential in tyres to Alonso would have been much smaller, and it would have actually been harder to overtake.
“If we had gone slightly longer, which is what we thought in hindsight we should have done, we would have increased that difference in tyre age from 10 laps maybe to 12 laps. As a result of that, we may have been able to get by Alonso quicker and that would have allowed us to fight for the win.”
The scope of the attack was low.
“The other advantage if we would have gone slightly longer is Alonso had slightly younger tyres than [Carlos] Sainz, and he closed up right behind him but only had a couple of laps in which to attack.”
“If we would have given him a couple more laps to attack, maybe they would have got by and maybe that would have meant it was easier for Lewis as a result.”
“It also would have meant Alonso would have done damage to his tyres, taken life out of his tyres that would have also helped us in the race.”