At the Bahrain GP 2019, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton benefitted from Charles LeClerc’s heartbreaking loss. The Monegasque driver had been leading much of the race until issues with his car scuppered his chances.
Lewis Hamilton needed no second invitation and swooped into the lead and the eventual win. Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas completed a 1-2 with LeClerc lucking out with the Safety car and finishing 3rd.
During the race, when LeClerc was leading, Lewis Hamilton was busy battling the other Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel. Then, Hamilton and Mercedes performed an undercut and dived into the pits first, with Vettel following much later.
In a recent video, Mercedes Technical Chief, James Allison explained the nitty gritty of the race-wining strategy.
Allison then spoke about the nature of the Sakhir International Circuit and how it treats tires. He said, “Normally, the tires slow down over the course of a stint because they continuously degrade.”
“That means, who gets new tires, is much faster than the competition on old tires.”
“On a normal track the time difference is about a second, but in Bahrain, we have a very rough asphalt that really demands the tires.”
The Mercedes technical chief concluded, “That’s why the difference is about two to two and a half seconds.”
“That means, who turns to the pits sooner than his direct opponents, is then for one or two laps much faster than the competition on the way,”
He then went on to explain other aspects of the race like tire strategy, Why Bottas couldn’t carry forward his Australia form, wind, potential one stop strategies for Bottas. Allison also spoke about why Mercedes had less pace in Bahrain compared to Australia.
Now, the teams will be heading to China for the 1000th Formula One race. Last year, the Ferraris dominated qualifying but it was Red Bull who emerged triumphant. Will that dynamic change this year in favour of Mercedes?