Hannah Schmitz has explained how detailed preparation, adaptability and staying calm under pressure are vital ingredients for F1 strategists.
As Red Bull's Principal Strategy Engineer, Schmitz played a key role in Max Verstappen's charge from 10th to victory at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix.
With Verstappen running behind the two Ferraris midway through the race, Red Bull opted to make their final pit-stop before their rivals.
Verstappen's stop for fresh Medium tyres triggered a reaction from Ferrari, who fitted then-race leader Charles Leclerc with the Hard compound rubber.
As Leclerc struggled for grip, Verstappen passed him a couple of laps later and went on to take the victory, extending his title advantage to 80 points.
The need to prepare and be adaptable
Speaking on Red Bull's Beyond the Ordinary podcast, Schmitz offered more of an insight into her role and the main factors behind these race-winning calls.
"I'm definitely a planner and like to prepare for everything in advance as much as I can," Schmitz commented.
"[I'll] have looked into all the different scenarios. For example, at home, I've always packed everything for me and my family the night before, when we're going out.
"It's the same in a race. I've always investigated lots of different scenarios, thought about them [and] all the different outcomes. And you have a kind of map of where you might be, depending on what happens in the race and the unexpected.
"Something I've learned from being a race strategist is that you've also got to be very adaptable and able to kind of move with what happens in the race, and not be too fixed on what your plan was.
"That's something that I've got more and more experienced in, as I've been doing this job."
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How does Schmitz stay calm in the heat of battle?
Schmitz then revealed some of the techniques she uses to deal with the intensity of ever-changing races and events.
"I actually do quite a lot of meditation, which really helps me stay calm," she continued.
"In the race, if things are getting quite intense... We always think the role of the strategist is to stay calm, and be the kind of level head if everybody else is getting excited about something.
"A tip that someone told me once is if you just turn your hands over, so your palms face down, then it just helps you be clearer and more commanding with what you're saying.
"That's something I sometimes do in the middle of a race to just refocus me and set myself up.
"I think staying calm is one of the most important attributes of a strategist."
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