I was watching a video of Rachel Brookes speaking with former Motor Racing Correspondent for The Times, Kevin Eason and F1 journalist and author David Tremayne this evening and there was a point the two made about Mercedes that I thought was curious.
We’re all afforded our opinions and insight and certainly Kevin and David have spent the better part of their lives covering the sport but I am not quite sure, I am in 100% agreement with their assessment that Mercedes lacks Racing Intelligence.
Go what the video here, it is at about the 4-minute mark, and then let me know what you think.
The discussion was centered around the moments when Mercedes seemingly haven’t made the right strategy call and Baku being the most recent with Lewis Hamilton. They focus on the strategy the team do through computational predictions and real-time race analysis and while one could certainly agree with them on a few occasion, I’m not sure I am prepared to say that the team doesn’t have the race moxie of red Bull or Ferrari.
In fact, I would say that Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel have had their share of moments last year and even into this year when one could challenge a few of their calls. For me, this season is more challenging with the softer tire compounds and the team are trying, quickly, to get on top of this random, unknown element in order to get their race strategy nailed down. Also, the appearance of Safety Cars in the first few races have added a winner/loser element that is impossible to predict.
As a team, Mercedes have enjoyed running strategy from the front and with their teammates the only real competition, perhaps one could endorse Kevin’s comments for sure but the team didn’t always have it easy. They had to fight and scrap their way up from the Brawn GP buyout to the title winning days of Hamilton and Rosberg.
I don’t completely disagree with them but I tend to think this year’s car has been a bit of a challenge for Lewis as well as Valtteri, the tires are new, softer and more of a moving target and the Safety Car hasn’t made life easy for Mercedes or Ferrari. Let’s see how the European portion of the season goes and then maybe I’ll change my mind. What do you think? Oh, and try to keep your bias out of the opinion, think it through logically.