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Vettel "surprised" by Hamilton's second stop

NEWS STORY
15/10/2019

When Sebastian Vettel pitted on lap 16 in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix, sticking with softs, albeit a brand new set, it was clear the German was adopting a two-stop strategy, and the following lap Valtteri Bottas responded, and while switching to mediums it was clear that the Finn was also now on a two-stopper.

Though Mercedes left Lewis Hamilton out for a further four laps, thereby suggesting that he was on a one-stop strategy, he too was put on a two-stopper, much to the Briton's obvious chagrin.

In the closing stages, despite his fresher, softer rubber, and having reeled in Vettel, the Briton was unable to pass him.

Speaking after the race, the German added to Hamilton's frustration by admitting surprise that he had been put on a two-stop strategy.

"I was surprised when they pitted to be honest," said the Ferrari driver. "I expected him to stay out and try the one stop.

"Once I knew that.. also before, Valtteri was so far away and we were not fast and it was not possible to catch him, so when he came out I was not rushing to open the gap, I was just trying to keep my tyres somehow fresh to make sure that if he arrives then everything is still in good shape and I have the chance to have good corner exits and play the advantage we have down the straights, which worked.

"It got a bit close once with traffic," he said of the cat and mouse battle with the world champion, "but other than that I think it was quite good.

"I was quite, quite happy when I saw the chequered flag," he admitted. "I didn't want to do another five laps like that. But I knew obviously in the places where you can't pass I can take it easy to try to maintain the tyres a little bit."

"I wasn't surprised," sighed the Briton. "The team put me on a two-stop, so I knew already when they put the medium on, that was going to be the case."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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1. Posted by Spartacus, 18/10/2019 17:34

"Yeah, as Jet Jockey and Dragon F1 stated I would have liked to see HAM stick to his original strategy of the one stop but I don't agree that he would have done better than his final placing. The strategists have major computing power crunching the numbers of the different tire strategies and the two stop seemed to be the quicker pace even if by two seconds. Factor in track positioning, back markers and traffic this may not workout. However with all the abilities of the teams, they still screwed up the Monza Q3 session so"Who knows!!"."

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2. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 17/10/2019 22:07

"An I the only person who wishes that more drivers followed the example of Kimi and Sebastian and Valteri and simply accepted the fact that, in a race, there are more opportunities to lose than there are to win and that moaning and kvetching like Lewis and young Charles about how badly the other drivers treat them --and even how they suspect their own teams of plotting against them-- is worse than unsportsmanlike conduct; it's purely childish and boring in the extreme. The only thing worse than their nattering is most of the commentary during the race by the chaps who are supposed to be informed. Whenever, for example, Seb makes an error it is tut-tutted about as proof that he must have earned his World Driving Championships through the bad luck of his competitors, since he clearly is an ihferior driver. On the other hand, Lewis is somehow never at fault, even whet the viewer can see clearly his errors in judgement. All these drivers are extraordinary competitors and, were they all in cars of equal balance and power and managed by equally thoughtful teams F1 would be much the richer for it. But, of course, money is more important to the F1 powers that be than racing ever is. "

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3. Posted by Tardis40, 15/10/2019 13:53

"Nice job mucking up the start, Vettel. How long have you been racing?"

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4. Posted by Jet Jockey, 15/10/2019 3:15

"I am one that believes that if Lewis would have stayed out on the mediums, he would have won the race and if not he would have come in second for a 1-2 result for Mercedes.

I looked at the lap per lap times of both Mercedes especially towards the end with 10 laps remaining and Valtteri with new softs was not making enough of an impression on Lewis still running on the mediums... At best he was maybe 0.3 of a second faster than Lewis and with 10 laps remaining and Valtteri 9 seconds behind, he wasn't fast enough."

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5. Posted by DRAGON F1, 14/10/2019 17:37

"Yes, I am sure that Lewis would be even more angry with his team when he watches the race again on tv and he sees that his team had asked him to pit a second time with only 10 laps to go and ALL his tyres were still in good shape at 70%!!

Mercedes wanted to make sure that Bottas won the race, and to do that they sacrificed a second place for Lewis! "

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6. Posted by Spartacus, 14/10/2019 15:45

"Yeah, although VET blew the start he was able to hold onto 2nd with HAM breathing down his neck for a number of laps. It made for great racing seeing the pressure on VET. Suzuka is a great race track and I was hoping for a better result from Redbull! I really like seeing the difference between the pitstop strategies 1 stop with major tire management or 2 stop with less management and attack sequences. The new tire graphic on Sky is pretty cool to see how much % of tire is left. What would be good is to see tire temperatures as well."

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7. Posted by Anthony, 14/10/2019 12:58

"Nice wind up by Seb!! "

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