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Start Styrian GP
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Mercedes

Why Mercedes tried to take pole on medium tyres

Mercedes caused a bit of a stir when they put medium tyres on the cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during the closing stages of qualifying. Team boss Toto Wolff explained the thinking behind the decision.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix was an exciting affair, with Valtteri Bottas coming out on top over teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.007 seconds.

However the team raised some eyebrows when they sent both cars out on the track with medium tyres for their final lap in Q3, while the remaining eight drivers were fitted with soft tyres. Toto Wolff explained why the Silver Arrows used that approach.

"We were on track to do a 1:17.7 on the medium tyre, and then we took the decision to see how the run on the soft tyre would go in Q3," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "Then we would decide whether to take the medium or soft.

"We decided to go for the medium because the times were slow. In hindsight, was it the right decision? I have no idea. Nobody really went much faster in the second run because Max was on an 1:18.2 in his first and then ended on an 1:18.7."

In the end both Mercedes drivers failed to improve on their time, but it didn't matter as they will start from the front row ahead of Red Bull rivals Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix

The latest news about the Portuguese Grand Prix straight from the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

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