F1 news - ‘Perfect execution from the team’ – Lewis Hamilton on fascinating Formula 1 footage
Sometimes Formula 1 gets labelled as an individual sport, something that both drivers and the teams are quick to dismiss. A recent bit of footage released by F1 showed what goes on during a pit-stop, specifically Mercedes at Barcelona. Lewis Hamilton has praised the releasing of the footage, because of what it shows.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 makes a pitstop during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 09, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain.
The perfect example of this is in a fascinating piece of footage released by Formula 1 that shows the thought process of Mercedes’ two-stop strategy during the recent Spanish Grand Prix.
In the clip, Chief Strategist James Vowles is talking with Leonardo Da Silva, a Race Strategy Engineer. Da Silva says that he thinks if they’re going to do a two-stop it should be around Lap 44, adding he thinks that would be the best option.
Team Principal Toto Wolff comes on the radio saying that if it happens it has to be a last-second call, so as not to alert Hamilton’s rival Max Verstappen. Vowles makes the call and alerts Peter “Bono” Bonnington, the Senior Race Engineer for Hamilton.
What’s particularly fascinating is how the pit crew is told to stay seated to ensure Red Bull are not alerted to their plans.
They pull it off perfectly, catching Red Bull off guard as their Team Principal Christian Horner is heard at the end of the clip saying “Hamilton is in this lap, it could be Hungary all over again.”
James Vowles and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of Hungary 2019
Image credit: Getty Images
Horner was right, the strategy worked perfectly and Hamilton came home for one of the great tactical victories in the past few years.
Writing on Instagram, Hamilton said “We practice and practice. We analyse and adapt even when we win, we push to be better.
My job is to get the car to a position that these guys can then use their brilliant minds to make the right chess move.
“My goal was to keep Max within a second before my stop, I was around half a second behind here. Timing is everything. Perfect execution from the team, together we made it.
“This is why we have the championships we have because we work as a team. So proud to work and represent these men and women.”
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 09: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff is seen during the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 09, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain
Image credit: Getty Images
Mercedes’ recent dominance has seen 99% of the praise from the sport's fans heaped on either Hamilton or his car, with the other 1% maybe going to Wolff.
As the video shows, and Hamilton is keen to stress, it is more of a team effort and the entire cooperative spirit goes into a victory. Wolff takes pride in surrounding himself with the best and someone like Vowles fits that category.
It’s a timely reminder of just how tactical Formula 1 can be; next season’s regulation changes should elevate that battle to a new plane.