Mercedes believe that Red Bull represents a real threat for victory in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. But Mercedes was well prepared for this kind of challenge, and will not be going to Monaco without a race plan.
In addition, Hamilton also benefited from Ricciardo’s slow pit stop, which has caused the entire Red Bull team a chance for victory at the Monaco Grand Prix. Ricciardo has lost the Monaco race when his crew has failed to get any tyres out of the garage when he entered the pitstop, where he lost crucial time and position to Hamilton.
Hamilton first sign of lead came when Daniel Ricciardo pitted from first to switch from wets to intermediate tyres, and instead of following suit, Hamilton made a smart decision and chose to stay on the tarmac until the track had become dry enough to gamble on switching directly to slicks tyres.
Hamilton made the perfect timing when he switched to fresh ultrasofts on Lap 31. This resulted for Hamilton to emerge from the race well ahead of Ricciardo as Red Bull fumbled his second pitstop.
The British could only cut two seconds from Ricciardo’s lead until Red Bull made a tough decision to fit intermediate tyres to Ricciardo’s car on lap 23 gave Hamilton the lead.
Ricciardo made a stop and choose the slightly harder super-softs. Ricciardo would have the chance of taking the lead but for the fact that he was delayed in the pits because his Red Bull team did not have his tyres ready.
It’s a huge mess for Ricciardo as Hamilton passed him as he came out of the pits to rejoin the race and take the commanding lead.
“We had a really aggressive strategy, which we discussed for a long time,” Wolff told Sky Sports, via the Motorsport. “We had time to eat up – we gambled.
“The gamble worked, and then the mishap of the Red Bull boys and Lewis’ superb drive gave us the win. It’s just what we needed.”
Wolff later explained after the race that the strategy to delay tyres change from full wets to slicks was a joint decision between Lewis Hamilton and a team of Mercedes engineers.
“There was a discussion on the pitwall, how long we thought the tyre would last,” Wolff said in a statement, via the Motorsport. “[Hamilton] gave us feedback on how he saw the track, in the end, it was a team decision.”
Picture Courtesy: Michael Elleray/Wikimedia Commons
F1 2016 Monaco GP – Daniel Ricciardo Epic Pit Stop:
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