Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff may have smashed his fist on the table in the closing laps of the race. Hamilton drove well and seemed to be getting closer to Verstappen, but eventually missed the victory. The chief of Mercedes looks back on what he says are ‘interesting strategic games’.
The Texas race was quite interesting, especially from a strategic point of view. From battles on track, it only came between Verstappen and Hamilton in the closing stages and even then Hamilton couldn’t get close enough to really stand a chance. In terms of strategy, Red Bull picked up the gauntlet early on by bringing in Verstappen after ten laps. That forced Mercedes to time a reaction, a scene that repeated itself later in the race. Unfortunately for Mercedes it was to no avail.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff looks back quite enthusiastically to F1 TV, despite the fact that star driver Hamilton lost out to Verstappen. “They were interesting strategic games and it was a great race,” said the Austrian. In the end, his team thought they might have won thanks to Hamilton’s fresher tires. “We thought we had a chance, but it wasn’t enough.”
Not quick enough
If Hamilton had overrun at the start, Red Bull might not have had the luxury of stopping early. Wolff compares Red Bull’s strategy to that of Mercedes in Bahrain, which also gave the team the win at the time. “They went for a very aggressive first stop,” said Wolff. “We did that in Bahrain at the beginning of the year and we won. Our car just wasn’t fast enough on the mediums.”