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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull strategist reveals how to win races: It's like playing a board game

Strategy Engineer, Hannah Schmitz, has likened the tough job to playing a board game, albeit with considerably higher stakes.

Hannah Schmitz
To news overview © Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

One of the secrets to Red Bull's domination on track has been their strategy during race weekends.

While Max Verstappen had the luxury of cruising up front, he has benefitted from decisions on the pit wall which have enabled him to finish over 20 seconds ahead of his rivals.

Strategy in F1 can often be thought of as a dark art, as most strategists use data modelling to process various outcomes and come up with the most effective route to winning a race or maximising a result for their team.

Red Bull Strategy Engineer, Hannah Schmitz, has described each race as being similar to a board game - albeit with the stakes considerably higher than winning a standard game of Monopoly.

"I always say, it is really like playing a board game. It's just the results really matter - you've got to get it right," she told the Talking Bull podcast.

"The driver's aren't necessarily pieces as well that you can always make move in the way you want to, so it's about understanding the limitations of the car and always managing risk. There's never a right and wrong answer.

"It's all about taking on all the information, the data, and the opinions of people, which I think is what makes it really unique.

"It's not just about the numbers, you can't just write a formula and go and do that strategy and it always win. It's about also taking on; What's the weather doing? What's this person's opinion? What's the drivers feeling? So there's lots of different things too."

Red Bull alternate roles trackside

The eagle-eyed will notice that Schmitz does not attend every race, which is largely due to how Red Bull runs its strategy operation.

The trackside role is alternated between Schmitz and Will Courtney, with the other being stationed in the operations room at the team's Milton Keynes factory during weekends.

She added: "That's really where we're doing all the detailed analysis of all the data, and passing that information on to that person on the pit wall, so that they can make the decisions.

"It really helps us alternating the role, because we each know what it's like to be that person there and so we know exactly that information.

"We have so much support in the ops room and people helping us, so if we overhear someone saying 'Oh this driver commented this on the radio' We'll be like 'Yeah, that's important' and pass it on."


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