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Should Ferrari have pitted a car to go for the fastest lap?
Yes, they were safe from a threat behind and it was a free point. 84%  84%  [ 37 ]
No, something could always have happened and it wasn't worth risking fifth place. 16%  16%  [ 7 ]
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:22 pm 
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So, Ferrari say that they didn't pit Leclerc to go for fastest lap because they didn't want to take that risk. Is that really the thinking of a championship team? What do we think? With a 30+ second gap to Magnussen, only a catastrophic pit stop could have cost them a place.

In short, should Ferrari have pitted a car to go for the fastest lap?

Personally, my answer is yes. You can't base your strategy on the idea that you might completely **** up your pit stop. No risk, no reward.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Maybe Vettel would have thrown a strop so they'd have had to stack them - lol.

Yes they should have gone for the extra point.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:44 pm 
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Yes, they should have pitted Leclerc. Very low risk for the likely reward of a bonus point. The risk was not zero and the reward was not 100% guaranteed but it would have been interesting to see if Charles could have bettered Valtteri's best lap.

I am wondering if they decided to be happy with the situation as long as the extra point didn't go to Lewis. I don't think they see Valtteri's point total as being that much of a threat.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:52 pm 
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Mort Canard wrote:
Yes, they should have pitted Leclerc. Very low risk for the likely reward of a bonus point. The risk was not zero and the reward was not 100% guaranteed but it would have been interesting to see if Charles could have bettered Valtteri's best lap.

I am wondering if they decided to be happy with the situation as long as the extra point didn't go to Lewis. I don't think they see Valtteri's point total as being that much of a threat.


Possible (although unlikely IMO), but the point still went to Mercedes which won't help them in the constructors championship.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:13 pm 
No, they should have let Charles attack Vettel for position an


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:23 pm 
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dompclarke wrote:
No, they should have let Charles attack Vettel for position an

As much though I didn't like the team order, I believe they chose to protect Vettel for logical reasons. Vettel was the faster of the two both in qualifying and in the race. A poor strategy call compromised Vettel's race dramatically and I think that they didn't want to cost Vettel that position purely because of their own poor choices. It might come back to bite them though.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:30 pm 
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Yes. Pit Vettel and get LeClerc to let him pass at the end.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:34 pm 
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mas wrote:
Yes. Pit Vettel and get LeClerc to let him pass at the end.

So Leclerc himself not allowed to get fastest lap, just there to be a doormat for Vettel?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:36 pm 
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I found it bizarre that Ferrari didn't pit Leclerc. For me it's an easy point gained

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:41 pm 
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pokerman wrote:
mas wrote:
Yes. Pit Vettel and get LeClerc to let him pass at the end.

So Leclerc himself not allowed to get fastest lap, just there to be a doormat for Vettel?


The team would have been better served with him staying out on his hard tyres to pressure the cars ahead on their fading mediums. Vettel was really due a pit stop as his mediums were gone and the team would have stood a better chance with Vettel trying for the fastest lap as he was quicker in Australia than LeClerc especially on the Softs.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:46 pm 
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mas wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mas wrote:
Yes. Pit Vettel and get LeClerc to let him pass at the end.

So Leclerc himself not allowed to get fastest lap, just there to be a doormat for Vettel?


The team would have been better served with him staying out on his hard tyres to pressure the cars ahead. Vettel was really due a pit stop as his mediums were gone.

Leclerc was lapping slower than the leaders and must have been about 20 seconds behind, Leclerc was lapping slower than the first 3 cars throughout the race.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:52 pm 
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It's a judgement call, what if one of the cars ahead had an off but Ferrari had no car to take advantage because both had taken an extra pit stop ? What if say Hamilton's old tyres had worn out badly but no Ferrari in the immediate vicinity to take advantage ? Split the strategy so you go for the extra point but also keep pressure with the other car so you are still in a position to gain many more points with a positional change.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:02 pm 
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mas wrote:
It's a judgement call, what if one of the cars ahead had an off but Ferrari had no car to take advantage because both had taken an extra pit stop ? What if say Hamilton's old tyres had worn out badly but no Ferrari in the immediate vicinity to take advantage ? Split the strategy so you go for the extra point but also keep pressure with the other car so you are still in a position to gain many more points with a positional change.

I don't think anyone advocated pitting both of them. The obvious choice would be to pit Vettel, since his tyres had gone off and he had no answer even if someone ahead had started to slow.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:10 pm 
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mas wrote:
It's a judgement call, what if one of the cars ahead had an off but Ferrari had no car to take advantage because both had taken an extra pit stop ? What if say Hamilton's old tyres had worn out badly but no Ferrari in the immediate vicinity to take advantage ? Split the strategy so you go for the extra point but also keep pressure with the other car so you are still in a position to gain many more points with a positional change.

Yeah I can understand that logic I just didn't understand the notion that by staying out Leclerc himself would be putting pressure on the leaders when he was lapping so much slower.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:27 pm 
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Badgeronimous wrote:
I found it bizarre that Ferrari didn't pit Leclerc. For me it's an easy point gained

100% This.

Leclerc had a 33 second gap to K-Mag and could have comfortably pitted without losing his position and could have gone after the fast lap, but Ferrari for some reason didn't use their collective brains to figure out that EVERY point is precious and worth fighting for. All this talk about Binotto being the right guy for Ferrari because he's worked his way up from the bottom over decades and is the right guy to lead them forward. THAT was a prime opportunity to take charge and show the troops they have a leader who's on the ball, taking advantage of every opportunity possible to help his team.

Missed a huge opportunity to rally his team around him IMPO.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:55 pm 
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LeClerc probably would not have got fastest lap anyway IMO. Bottas under no real pressure and had a huge advantage. LeClerc's fastest lap ended about 1.4 sec slower than Bottas as I understand? Why take the risk when they know they do not have the pace?

I would have rather Ferrari just let them race each other but collecting the points was important. I think Ferrari are more keen to have a solid start to the year rather than take risks. FErrari need to find some speed somewhere fast.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:22 am 
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pendulumeffect wrote:
LeClerc probably would not have got fastest lap anyway IMO. Bottas under no real pressure and had a huge advantage. LeClerc's fastest lap ended about 1.4 sec slower than Bottas as I understand? Why take the risk when they know they do not have the pace?

Leclerc would have been on fresh softs, not used mediums (?) like Bottas was, or used hards like he actually was at the end of the race. I think the tyre difference alone would probably have accounted for those 1.4 seconds.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:12 am 
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Yes, it was a no brainer IMO. How often does something go wrong in a pit stop for Ferrari? And with the gap they had they could have taken their time with it too.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:18 am 
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pendulumeffect wrote:
LeClerc probably would not have got fastest lap anyway IMO. Bottas under no real pressure and had a huge advantage. Leclerc's fastest lap ended about 1.4 sec slower than Bottas as I understand? Why take the risk when they know they do not have the pace?

I would have rather Ferrari just let them race each other but collecting the points was important. I think Ferrari are more keen to have a solid start to the year rather than take risks. Ferrari need to find some speed somewhere fast.

It's not about taking risks, it's about showing your team you're not afraid to go for it. It's been my experience that in the professional world, leaders who are willing to show they're willing to fight in the trenches WITH their team, INSPIRE everyone around them, and as a result everyone is content to work harder and do more, in whatever capacity they can. And that can make all the difference in the development race.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:35 am 
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The other thing is the engines only last a certain number of races. I doubt we will see many drivers really pushing this year because the grid penalties once they run out of engines outweigh the fastest lap reward still.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:29 am 
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Still not a fan of the fastest lap point but I saw no reason why they didn’t go for it. You pit Leclerc and put him on softs, turn the engine up to the quali mapping, he would have done it easily. Bottas was on well used mediums, he had no shot of responding to that imo.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:11 am 
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Yes, they should've, but for another reason.

Leclerc was always going to catch Seb. It was clear from the way he was reducing the gap. So unless Ferrari were very naive, they must've seen that they were soon going to be presented with a situation where they would either have to tell Charles to back off or tell Seb to let him go. One way or another they would have to employ team orders in the first race of the season, and one way or another they would gherkin one of their drivers off. All for what, as a team, was going to be the same points haul. If they had been smart they would've boxed Charles before he caught Seb, using an attempt at gaining the fastest lap point as the justification for doing so. Even if Charles didn't then end up gaining the extra point, it would've saved them having to use team orders in race one.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:28 am 
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Jenson's Understeer wrote:
Yes, they should've, but for another reason.

Leclerc was always going to catch Seb. It was clear from the way he was reducing the gap. So unless Ferrari were very naive, they must've seen that they were soon going to be presented with a situation where they would either have to tell Charles to back off or tell Seb to let him go. One way or another they would have to employ team orders in the first race of the season, and one way or another they would gherkin one of their drivers off. All for what, as a team, was going to be the same points haul. If they had been smart they would've boxed Charles before he caught Seb, using an attempt at gaining the fastest lap point as the justification for doing so. Even if Charles didn't then end up gaining the extra point, it would've saved them having to use team orders in race one.

I'm pretty sure that would have been interpreted as team orders by most viewers anyway, since the obvious choice would have otherwise been to box the driver who was struggling with his tyres and wasn't clearly going to make it to the end on his hards.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:43 am 
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pendulumeffect wrote:
LeClerc probably would not have got fastest lap anyway IMO. Bottas under no real pressure and had a huge advantage. LeClerc's fastest lap ended about 1.4 sec slower than Bottas as I understand? Why take the risk when they know they do not have the pace?

I would have rather Ferrari just let them race each other but collecting the points was important. I think Ferrari are more keen to have a solid start to the year rather than take risks. FErrari need to find some speed somewhere fast.


He would have got it easily, 100%.

Bottas fastest lap - 25.6
Leclerc qualifying on new hards - 22.0
Leclerc qualifying on new softs - 21.4

Leclerc had a set of new mediums I believe. He probably wouldn’t have used qualifying mode but would have beat Bottas by 2 seconds at least.

Essentially Ferrari gifted Mercedes 2 points in the WCC today.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:47 am 
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It's a double edged sword. Even Toto forbade their drivers to go for the fastest lap, the risk is just too high. Other than that, Mercedes was in the league of their own.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:56 am 
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Yes it would have resulted in a 2 point swing in the WCC battle.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:46 pm 
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Lt. Drebin wrote:
It's a double edged sword. Even Toto forbade their drivers to go for the fastest lap, the risk is just too high. Other than that, Mercedes was in the league of their own.


Two completely different scenarios.

-Mercedes were on 30-35 lap old medium tyres
-Mercedes were on for 43 points and a huge WCC lead and the 1-2 in the bag, 1 additional point is nothing in that scenario and having both cars push one another and risk crashing on worn rubber just isn't worth it.

Ferrari could fit new tyres and Leclerc could set fastest lap without even pushing such is the huge advantage of new tyres. If he really pushed he probably could have beaten Bottas' lap by 2.5+ seconds, he could be a very calm lap (possibly pushing less than any other lap in the race) and comfortably set fastest lap. A Mercedes on 30 lap old tyres can not compete with a Ferrari on new rubber.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:04 pm 
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That was dumb. If they weren't going to let Leclerc pass Vettel they should have at least attempted a pit for fastest lap. I guess you have to weight the risk reward factor. The whole weekend was a fail for Ferrari.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:04 pm 
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Exediron wrote:
Jenson's Understeer wrote:
Yes, they should've, but for another reason.

Leclerc was always going to catch Seb. It was clear from the way he was reducing the gap. So unless Ferrari were very naive, they must've seen that they were soon going to be presented with a situation where they would either have to tell Charles to back off or tell Seb to let him go. One way or another they would have to employ team orders in the first race of the season, and one way or another they would gherkin one of their drivers off. All for what, as a team, was going to be the same points haul. If they had been smart they would've boxed Charles before he caught Seb, using an attempt at gaining the fastest lap point as the justification for doing so. Even if Charles didn't then end up gaining the extra point, it would've saved them having to use team orders in race one.

I'm pretty sure that would have been interpreted as team orders by most viewers anyway, since the obvious choice would have otherwise been to box the driver who was struggling with his tyres and wasn't clearly going to make it to the end on his hards.


I tend to think that putting Leclerc on hard tyres, when Vettel was on faster medium tyres, was already "hidden" team orders... Not to have to use "clear" ones. Which they were nevertheless "obliged" to use.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:31 pm 
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The risk was too much Leclerc on his own went off track under no pressure, what if he bins it?

The same folks saying its a no brainer would be here crucifying Ferrari saying just for a point they should have just cruised and collected the available points.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:50 pm 
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Rockie wrote:
The risk was too much Leclerc on his own went off track under no pressure, what if he bins it?

The same folks saying its a no brainer would be here crucifying Ferrari saying just for a point they should have just cruised and collected the available points.

Well I wouldn't for one.

It would be reasonable for Ferrari to expect their drivers to be able to put in a good lap without binning it, if Leclerc or Vettel did try for the fastest lap and bin it on fresh tyres that wouldn't be Ferrari's fault.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:53 pm 
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Black_Flag_11 wrote:
Rockie wrote:
The risk was too much Leclerc on his own went off track under no pressure, what if he bins it?

The same folks saying its a no brainer would be here crucifying Ferrari saying just for a point they should have just cruised and collected the available points.

Well I wouldn't for one.

It would be reasonable for Ferrari to expect their drivers to be able to put in a good lap without binning it, if Leclerc or Vettel did try for the fastest lap and bin it on fresh tyres that wouldn't be Ferrari's fault.


Or a wheel gun getting stuck or not put on properly, the constructors points they would have lost in that scenario will beg to differ!

Throwing away 12 or 10pts for 1pt.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:02 pm 
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Rockie wrote:
Black_Flag_11 wrote:
Rockie wrote:
The risk was too much Leclerc on his own went off track under no pressure, what if he bins it?

The same folks saying its a no brainer would be here crucifying Ferrari saying just for a point they should have just cruised and collected the available points.

Well I wouldn't for one.

It would be reasonable for Ferrari to expect their drivers to be able to put in a good lap without binning it, if Leclerc or Vettel did try for the fastest lap and bin it on fresh tyres that wouldn't be Ferrari's fault.


Or a wheel gun getting stuck or not put on properly, the constructors points they would have lost in that scenario will beg to differ!

Throwing away 12 or 10pts for 1pt.

That would be Ferraris fault yes but its incredibly rare and they had enough of a gap to take their time with a 5 second pit stop and still be safe. Everything required to get extra points involves extra risk.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:12 pm 
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The risk was a pit stop error and DNF, i.e. wheel nut failure, speeding in pitlane penalty, un safe release etc etc.

Ferrari have had 1 such pit stop in the last 3-4 years, 1 out of maybe 300 stops? But given this would be a low pressure stop the risk is further reduced.

The time to pit was 24 seconds and he was 34 seconds ahead of the Haas.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:31 pm 
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With how consistently successful many of the teams are with pits stops, I think it's definitely a something they should go for. I think LeClerc should have pitting, and I think Bottas should have pitted. I would have left Vettel out because it seemed like his car lost pace somehow mid-race, and leaving him out prevents Verstappen and then Hamilton from having a gap to pit.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:22 pm 
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With such a huge gap, I think it was a no-brainer to go for it for two important reasons:

1. If you get it, it's a small moral victory for the team where Mercedes just delivered a double podium thrashing
2. If you flub it, you still gained important experience for when you are going to go for it so you can be better next time

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:16 pm 
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kowen1208 wrote:
With how consistently successful many of the teams are with pits stops, I think it's definitely a something they should go for. I think LeClerc should have pitting, and I think Bottas should have pitted. I would have left Vettel out because it seemed like his car lost pace somehow mid-race, and leaving him out prevents Verstappen and then Hamilton from having a gap to pit.

I think Mercedes made the right call not pitting Bottas. It was a completely different situation: he was in command of the race, and nothing except a screw-up could cost him the win. If Mercedes called him in for an unneeded stop a few laps from the end and something went wrong, they'd be crucified in public opinion for gifting Hamilton a win, and Bottas would be mentally destroyed for having Mercedes take another of his wins away from him. There was too much to lose.

For Leclerc, even in the worst case scenario everyone would have agreed it was the right thing to do.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:33 pm 
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Exediron wrote:
kowen1208 wrote:
With how consistently successful many of the teams are with pits stops, I think it's definitely a something they should go for. I think LeClerc should have pitting, and I think Bottas should have pitted. I would have left Vettel out because it seemed like his car lost pace somehow mid-race, and leaving him out prevents Verstappen and then Hamilton from having a gap to pit.

I think Mercedes made the right call not pitting Bottas. It was a completely different situation: he was in command of the race, and nothing except a screw-up could cost him the win. If Mercedes called him in for an unneeded stop a few laps from the end and something went wrong, they'd be crucified in public opinion for gifting Hamilton a win, and Bottas would be mentally destroyed for having Mercedes take another of his wins away from him. There was too much to lose.

For Leclerc, even in the worst case scenario everyone would have agreed it was the right thing to do.


It's easy to look at a decision gone wrong and say "that's why we don't make that decision", but when was the last time Mercedes made a significant error during a pit stop (meaning big enough that he would have lost 1st place)? I imagine they have data on their pit stop success rate, both for race and non-race stops. I think they should be making decisions based on the probability of all possible outcomes rather than the fear of only the bad possible outcomes. If the data shows a 99% chance of pitting and retaining the lead, why would you not go for it? F1 is too risk averse in terms of strategy.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:53 pm 
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Pitting Bottas was not an option, he was never more than 25 seconds ahead of Hamilton and it was 24-25 seconds to pit. The gap was more like 21-22 seconds for the last 10 laps. He had no window.


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Johnson wrote:
Pitting Bottas was not an option, he was never more than 25 seconds ahead of Hamilton and it was 24-25 seconds to pit. The gap was more like 21-22 seconds for the last 10 laps. He had no window.


Okay. Watching the race, I was under the impression that there was a sufficient gap based on the commentary.


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