On the one hand the scarce fight on the track, on the other a strategic battle that has fascinated different palates. This was the Zandvoort Grand Prix: few overtaking, many skirmishes from the wall. Mercedes attempted to slow Max Verstappen by diversifying the strategy between Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, but a mistake by the Finn threw up Plan-A, postponing the speech to the second stop. The reigning champions played the card ofundercut, but they sent the Briton on the track at the wrong time, forcing him to go out in traffic, and so the Dutchman and Red Bull had an easy game in responding immediately. According to the head of Liberty Media for the motorsport area Ross Brawn, Mercedes could have tried to stop Hamilton a third time with 20 laps to go and go on the soft to beat Super Max: in short, what has already happened in Catalonia this year and which the ‘Black Arrows’ have always kept as the ultimate weapon to use in emergencies.
“While Max seemed in control, there were times when it was believed that Lewis would come back to him. I thought there was a small window for a third 20-lap pit stop: Mercedes could have played the soft card and it would really liven up the race. Not sure who would have won if that had happened, but 20 laps on the soft ones would have made a difference against Verstappen’s hard, which would have been pretty old by then.“Said Brawn in his usual editorial on the Formula 1 website.”I’m surprised they haven’t even tried, as overtaking Verstappen on the track was difficult and they had nothing to lose. It would have been difficult for Red Bull to answer because Max had a gap of less than two seconds and Lewis could have bridged it with a soft out lap.“.
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