Red Bull offer explanations for ‘very strange’ behaviour at Silverstone

Red Bull offer explanations for ‘very strange’ behaviour at Silverstone
Red Bull offer explanations for ‘very strange’ behaviour at Silverstone

The fluctuating speed of the top three Formula 1 teams in the British Grand Prix left many scratching their heads as to how Lewis Hamilton succeeded for Mercedes.

After a season in which Red Bull dominated early on before McLaren emerged more recently with what many believe is now the fastest car in F1, Mercedes’ turn to shine at Silverstone came as something of a surprise.

But more puzzling than Mercedes emerging on top was the way the pace of the different cars varied throughout the Grand Prix, with the German manufacturer, Red Bull and McLaren dominating at various stages as the rain came and then dispersed.

As Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner explained: “It was a very strange race.”

And he added: “I think if someone can explain the pace of his car [el Mercedes] “He must have been doing very well because he seemed to be moving back and forth.”

“Mercedes has always been strong in the colder conditions, and they seemed to have things pretty much under control.

“Then Lewis came alive when it started to rain, and then the McLaren came alive and passed us both. So everything was moving according to what was happening.

“In those conditions, you’d expect Max to be up to speed as well, but he was struggling at the time.

“Then, as the track started to dry out, we got back into the swing of things and were sometimes six or seven tenths a lap faster than Lewis and Lando. [Norris]”.

As engineers pore over race data to try and better understand the performance elements at play, Horner has his own theory as to what was influencing things.

“I think it all has to do with how the tyre performs at a given time, in given conditions, whether cold or hot.”

“Different cars work the tyres in different ways, and you saw an extreme of that when the circuit went from wet to wet and back to dry again.”

It’s an idea his competitors also believe explains why the pace of the cars varied so much at different stages of the race.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “We were really controlling the pace at the beginning, which was very encouraging.

“Then it started to rain and you could see the huge performance from McLaren. They were simply in the sweet spot of the tyre.

“But we came back. And then, in other conditions, I think we had it under control.”

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Foto: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

For McLaren, the pace of the top three teams at Silverstone was a source of interest, particularly as it comes off a run of races in which people have labelled its MCL38 the class of the field.

Indeed, team boss Andrea Stella believes the British GP may have marked a changing of the guard in terms of who is now at the top of F1.

“There is a perception that McLaren has the best car, but I think we make good use of it,” Stella said.

“I would like to highlight the good work of the people preparing the car. We arrived at the practice sessions and the car performed well throughout the weekend.

“But we saw [en el GP de Gran Bretaña] It’s not necessarily that we have the fastest car. Because in the first stint where things were pretty regular, Mercedes, they were

“That’s part of the positive. I think the team is working very well and when you’re competing for the front positions, it becomes much more visible when you still have work to do.”

 
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