Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen’s engineer slated Mercedes’ strategy as “madness” · F1 · RaceFans

George Russell, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Monaco, 2024

Red Bull were infuriated by Mercedes’ strategy in the Monaco Grand Prix as Max Verstappen was trapped between their cars all race.

As almost every driver made their mandatory tyre change during the early red flag period, sixth-placed Verstappen was stuck behind Mercedes’ George Russell with no strategic options to attack those ahead. Both were on the medium tyre compound, while the four cars ahead were on hard rubber, and Mercedes were unwilling to risk pushing their tyres too hard early on for fear they might degrade before the end of the race.

Soon after the race restarted, Russell was told by his race engineer Marcus Dudley to keep a lid on his pace. The driver pointed out he was lapping far off his potential pace as Lando Norris ahead of him pulled away by well over a second per lap at times:

Lap: 1/78 (Red flag)
Dudley It looks like everyone has changed tyres apart from Sargeant.
Lap: 4/78 RUS: 1’22.868
Dudley So it’ll be DRS end of this lap. Let’s settle into the management now.
Lap: 5/78 RUS: 1’23.045
Dudley And George no need to stick this close to Norris. Just manage these tyres at this stage.
Russell This is the only opportunity?
Dudley So, Max has been told to back off from you a little bit as well.
Lap: 6/78 RUS: 1’23.012
Russell I mean, this pace at the moment must be three-and-a-half, four seconds off.
Dudley And we think that’s the right thing to be doing at the moment. 72 laps remaining at the end of this one. So we will be taking this to the end.
Lap: 7/78 RUS: 1’21.415
Russell I mean, if you want me to manage everywhere or just, three, four, five. If we continue at this pace, we’re going to open a pit stop for them.
Lap: 8/78 RUS: 1’21.612
Dudley So management at three, four, five and then 12, 13, 14.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

By lap 10 Norris was over six seconds ahead of Russell. While this was nowhere near enough for the McLaren driver to be able to pit and come out ahead of his pursuers, Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase grew concerned that if the gap continued to increase at that rate a Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car period would give Norris the chance to put on fresh tyres and leave the pits before they caught up:

Lap: 10/78 VER: 1’21.244, HAM: 1’21.437, RUS: 1’21.531
Lambiase Not entirely sure why Russell is going so slowly. He’s just giving them a free pit stop gap eventually. But keep it there for the…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at RaceFans…