Crazy race: “interslicks” are the solution to a wet race without rain!!
F1 Turkish GP 2021 – race analysis
Pirelli’s verdict on Hamilton’s intermediate tyres
It’s all about emotions. As the race in Turkey showed, tense and uncertain until the end. Perfect slide of the season we are experiencing. And if we talk about emotions, Valtteri Bottas rightly celebrated, returning to victory after 22 races. Like Red Bull who managed to place both drivers on the podium despite a car that was not perfect here. But his heart made him beat and Charles Leclerc also strong, that podium in the end only touched him. Ferrari in Istanbul did not lose its polish even in these conditions and allowed both Leclerc and Sainz to make courageous and attacking races. The Monegasque tried up to ten laps from the end to stay out, suffering and rowing with the same tires with which he had started. An early call would have changed little, and beyond the disappointment Leclerc also knows it.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
The Red seen in Turkey was a nice breath with full lungs thinking about the future, as underlined by the rimontona up to the eighth place of Sainz and his words. Ferrari dared, with the awareness perhaps that they had less to lose. Something that mercedes was unable to do until the end with Hamilton recalled to the pits a few laps from the checkered flag. Heart and belly pushed the seven-time world champion to move forward, the head made Mercedes decide not to take risks thinking about the world championship and preserving his fifth place. The standings are reversed again, with Verstappen ahead by 6 points. From heart to throat, to the end.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 11, 2021
Pirelli are siding with Toto Wolff over whether Lewis Hamilton’s tyres would have lasted the whole duration of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton expressed frustration over a muddled strategy, persuading his Mercedes team to cancel a planned pit-stop on lap 42 of 58 but then complying with the order to come in for fresh intermediate tyres nine laps later.
The seven-time World Champion thought that decision had cost him a potential podium finish, thinking his original set of inters could have gone to the end of the race.
Instead, he finished fifth and now finds himself six points behind Istanbul runner-up Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ World Championship with six races remaining.
Hamilton and Mercedes agree that it's finally time to pit
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
After the race, Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, admitted the switch to fresh inters had occurred too late but that “it was clear we wouldn’t make it to the end”.
Pirelli’s Formula 1 chief Mario Isola has endorsed that view.
Asked by Sky about whether Hamilton’s original set could have lasted the entire 58 laps, Isola said:
“Looking at the tyres after the race, I would say no, or at least it was really at the limit. The wear of the tyres, especially at the end of the race, they were running basically on the construction. It was a bit dangerous to push the boundaries. But I fully understand that in race conditions they have to maximise their result.”
MERCEDES ADMITS HAMILTON CALL WRONG BUT TORN OVER RIGHT OPTION
Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff have both admitted that they picked the wrong Turkish Grand Prix strategy – but they disagree on whether staying out would’ve been a viable option.
Hamilton had made his way up from 11th on the grid to third place when he was faced with the dilemma of switching to a fresh set of intermediate tyres or going to the end of the race with the tyres he started on.
When Mercedes tried to call Hamilton in on lap 42 of 58, Hamilton stayed out wanting to go to the end, but after further requests from his Mercedes team, he pitted with eight laps remaining.
Hamilton reminded his team that he warned Mercedes of the danger of the graining and appeared angered by the decision to bring him in.
When you look at Lewis Hamilton’s set of intermediate tyres after they came off the car following 50 laps of running on an Istanbul track that had some dry parts, it’s clear that they lasted pretty well and would probably have managed the extra eight laps of the Turkish Grand Prix safety-wise.
But for Mercedes it’s risk against reward. Yes, it Hamilton and Mercedes threw away five points as a potential third place became fifth, but the 10 they got is better than none.
When he has cooled down, Hamilton should remember what happened in China 2007 when he was left out too long by McLaren in drying conditions and slid into the gravel in the pit entry when he was finally called in.
Zero-stop Ocon was ‘one lap away from puncture’
Esteban Ocon admitted his tyres were on their last legs after completing the entire Turkish Grand Prix on the same set of intermediates.
The Alpine driver was the only person brave enough to take all 58 laps of Istanbul Park without pitting, given the usual requirement to use two different compounds in a race is removed in wet conditions.
Lewis Hamilton was openly critical of his strategy at Mercedes as he had wanted to follow suit with the Frenchman, preferring to keep track position as he aimed to take a podium on Sunday.
But given the state of Ocon’s tyres and his drop-off in pace towards the end of the race, he admitted afterwards that his eventual P10 finish would have slipped through his fingers with one more lap – as would the structure of his tyres.