Photo: Daimler Media
Ross Brawn, the sporting director of Formula 1, says that the drama in Baku is a test of character for Lewis Hamilton, but he also emphasizes that it is somewhat compensated by the withdrawal of Verstappen.
Max Verstappen seemed on his way to an almost certain victory until his left rear tire decided otherwise. The loss of the championship leader gave competitor Lewis Hamilton a great opportunity to distance himself in the battle for the world title, but he ruined it himself by braking at the restart after the safety car.
“This was a real test of character for Lewis,” Ross Brawn said in his Monday Debrief on F1’s official website.
“In general, everything seemed to be going well. On Friday he had a car that didn’t look good at all but on Saturday he came through, which was a good sign. It was still not the fastest car, but he could do something with it.”
“He did well and I don’t know what happened at the restart. He said it was a problem with a switch. It was clear that the rear brakes were very hot.”
“It didn’t even look like he was going to make that corner. But after Max’s crash, the battle for the world title is still open.”
“While Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton will not be satisfied, it is actually compensated by Max’s setback.”
Brawn also said he was surprised by the poor performance of his former team but believes they will be back at the more traditional circuits.
“It’s unusual for Mercedes to come to a race with such a bad car. It could be that after the difficulties in Monaco they had changed tack that made them look so bad on Friday.”
“If I had to deal with a temperature problem with the tires like they did in Monaco, I would take a different approach. So it could well be that their problems on Friday were a result of that.”
“It could also be that if we go back to races now where they are more confident in familiar territory, Mercedes will again be at their best. They’ve always had a bit of a hard time with street circuits, that’s never been their strong point.”
“Red Bull has started the season very well, a bit the opposite of last year. Then they found their best level only in the second part of the season. Their start is a good sign. If they can keep this up and keep making it difficult for Mercedes, we can get ready for a great fight.”
According to Brawn, the two crazy laps after the safety car also give the best suspicion for the sprint qualifications that are scheduled as a test later this season.
“I found it encouraging to hear some commentators say that we need ten more laps of the action we saw in the last two laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as it is a good preparation for sprint qualifying,” he said. he.
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