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Mercedes Accepted Their Fate at the Monaco GP Before the Race Even Started – “A Track Position Race”

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Mercedes Accepted Their Fate at the Monaco GP Before the Race Even Started - “A Track Position Race”

It was mostly an uneventful race in Monaco for Mercedes, whose drivers finished the race in the same place they started it. While several teams looked to be in attack mode, the Silver Arrows played the defensive game, keeping Max Verstappen at bay. Keeping the same in mind, F1 expert Tim Hauraney believes Mercedes approached the Monaco GP as a “track position race,” as he revealed on ‘Nailing the Apex’ podcast.

“Mercedes must have felt like it was a track position race. And that’s what it was going to be. And it was up to George [Russell] to not make any mistakes.”, he said.

After the race restarted, George Russell seemed to go on the offensive to get the better of Lando Norris. However, a message from his race engineer told him to back off. Following the same, the Monaco GP became all about defending their track position for Mercedes. 

Hauraney commended Russell for his driving skills, keeping Verstappen at bay for 77 laps with the same tire compound. Given the strategy, Mercedes knew they wouldn’t gain a track position better than P5, while a Red Bull chased them. Thus, they deployed another strategy via Lewis Hamilton, but to no avail.

Mercedes botched undercut strategy via Lewis Hamilton

In the late-middle stages of the race, Mercedes opted for an undercut strategy on Max Verstappen via a double-team effort. While Russell held the Dutchman back, Hamilton would go into the pit for a tire change. And when the defending champion would go in for his stop, the Briton would push forward and take P6 away from him. 

However, it all worked the opposite of what Mercedes expected because of one flaw. The Silver Arrows did not put Hamilton in the correct engine mode, halting Hamilton from making the push on his out lap. An incorrect engine mode and pushing level meant Verstappen had little to worry about.

Toto Wolff also admitted to his team making a mistake in the context. The team boss believes instructions to Hamilton should have been much clearer about the out-lap being critical. But, there was a worry within the garage about the tire-wear. Thus, Wolff conceded that, at best, Hamilton got a rather confusing message.

Post Edited By:Aishwary Gaonkar

About the author

Naman Gopal Srivastava

Naman Gopal Srivastava


Naman is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. Initially a football fanatic who worships Puyol and Leo Messi, Naman soon fell in love with the world of F1 upon reading about Jim Clarke. While the current era drivers do fascinate him, Naman still chooses to idolize Clarke and Ayrton Senna. When he is not busy watching the highlights of some of the greatest races of his idols, Naman can be found scribbling little snippets in his diary of poems or out in the town, exploring new places to eat.

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