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fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 29.148
  • 3 BOT + 33.530
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 15.841
  • 3 BOT + 26.610
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
  • 1 VER LAP 78
  • 2 SAI + 8.968
  • 3 NOR + 19.427
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
  • 1 PER LAP 51
  • 2 VET + 1.385
  • 3 GAS + 2.762
fri 18 jun - sun 20 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 53
  • 2 HAM + 2.904
  • 3 PER + 8.811
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 HAM + 35.743
  • 3 BOT + 46.907
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 BOT + 17.973
  • 3 NOR + 20.019
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
  • 1 HAM LAP 52
  • 2 LEC + 3.871
  • 3 BOT + 11.125
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug

F1 standings

  • 1 VER 185
  • 2 HAM 177
  • 3 NOR 113
FP1 fri 30 jul
FP2 fri 30 jul
FP3 sat 31 jul
Quali sat 31 jul
Race sun 01 aug
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
Quali sat 28 aug
Race sun 29 aug
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
Quali sat 04 sep
Race sun 05 sep
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
Quali fri 10 sep
Sprint sat 11 sep
Race sun 12 sep
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
fri 01 oct - sun 03 oct
Quali sat 02 oct
Race sun 03 oct
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
fri 29 oct - sun 31 oct
Quali sat 30 oct
Race sun 31 oct
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
Start Hungarian GP

How Mercedes have strategically dropped the ball

Strategy and the pit stop phases of every race this year has been more important than ever as the Mercedes and Red Bull battle continues to intensity. RacingNews365.com takes a look at how Mercedes have got things wrong in the strategy department in recent races.

To news overview © Mercedes

F1 has become so used to Mercedes paving the way at the head of the field but that has all changed this season with Max Verstappen and Red Bull at the top of both the Drivers' and Constructors' Standings.

Some of the most dramatic moments of the season have come during the pit stop phase of the race. Whilst most races have become one-stop affairs, the intensity of the fight between Mercedes and Red Bull has prompted some two-stop strategies which has added to the excitement.

However, it's these key pit stop phases which have proved costly for Mercedes in recent races as they trail Red Bull by 37 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Monaco GP 2021 - Gasly gets in the way

Hamilton had a poor qualifying at Monaco on a track where your Saturday dictates the way your Sunday goes. However, Mercedes had a chance to strategically move Hamilton way up the order.

Instead, it went the other way. Mercedes opted to try and undercut AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly but it did not quite pay off.

Gasly managed to stay ahead and his slow outlaps held Hamilton up as Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez went long to execute the overcut strategy.

Having started seventh, and despite two cars ahead of Hamilton failing to finish and start the race, the defending world champion failed to improve his position although he did pick up the extra point for the fastest lap of the Monaco GP.

Azerbaijan GP 2021 - Overcut once again

Hamilton turned things around in Baku during qualifying when things were looking rather ominous for Mercedes. He started from the front row of the grid and took the lead from Charles Leclerc.

Whilst Red Bull perhaps had a slight pace advantage, it felt like Hamilton had a good chance of the win with his excellent straight line speed.

Mercedes pitted Hamilton first and similarly to Monaco, it did not work. Verstappen set the fastest first and second sectors of the race to overcut Hamilton whilst Sergio Perez replicated the Dutchman's rapid outlap to jump Hamilton too, even though Perez's pit stop was not good.

We all know what happened with two laps to go when Hamilton made a mistake with the brake 'magic' button but the important thing here is, in terms of strategy Mercedes gifted a 1-2 to their main rivals from a leading position.

French GP 2021 - The biggest mistake yet?

Without doubt, Mercedes had a slight edge on race pace over Red Bull in Paul Ricard. Hamilton capitalised on a mistake from Verstappen at the start to lead the French GP.

However, for a second race running Mercedes handed the lead to Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas was forced to pit due to major vibrations on his W12.

This trigged an early round of pit stops which forced Verstappen to pit one lap later to cover Bottas. Hamilton had a 2.8 second lead over Verstappen to pit on the next lap.

When he emerged from the pit lane, he was neck and neck with Verstappen and he lost out. Mercedes underestimated the power of the undercut despite signs from Leclerc in the Ferrari who immediately set quickest sectors of the race on his outlap.

It was a surprise, but it was also an unnecessary risk from Mercedes. Other warnings such as the high tyre degradation from a track that was very wet in the morning, suggested that the overcut that worked in previous races was never going to work.

Things were not over yet though as Hamilton pushed Verstappen hard, forcing him into a pace that caused the Dutchman to make an unexpected second pit stop.

Mercedes were now stuck with their strategy to run to the end of the race with both drivers but ultimately Hamilton fell just one and a half laps short of the win.

France will hurt the most because Mercedes failed to win on a day where they had had a tenth or two in hand on Red Bull.

The Conclusion - What is wrong with Mercedes' strategy?

At a time when the margins are so tight, strategy and perfect pit stops have become race-deciding factors. Something that has changed within Mercedes' strategy team is that Rosie Wait, Mercedes' Head of Race Strategy, has been on maternity leave since the Spanish GP in May. Coincidence? Most likely.

James Vowles, Mercedes' chief strategist throughout the title winning years, remains the person who has the final say.

It's a role that will only come under more scrutiny if more mistakes are made by Mercedes. At times, Vowles and his team have judged things correctly such as the Spanish GP and the Bahrain GP when he relied on Hamilton's magical tyre skills to win the race.

But, even when Mercedes have had dominant cars, there have been occasions when they dropped the ball and it tends to be Red Bull who pick up the pieces.

More often than not, Red Bull nail their strategy and have incredibly fast pit stops so Mercedes are under huge pressure to match them in this department.

At the moment, that is not the case and it has cost Hamilton in particular a lot of valuable points. Mercedes have to turn things around and start to execute their strategies to perfection.

They have all the data in the world, and sometimes it's a simple case of reacting to a situation and the conditions rather than solely relying on numbers.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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