The Sky F1 pundit identified Mercedes’ four key mistakes as “very significant”, with a focus on attack.

The Sky F1 pundit identified Mercedes’ four key mistakes as “very significant”, with a focus on attack.

Anthony Davidson noticed “scratches in the armor” of his Mercedes after Austin.

We’ve highlighted four areas where Anthony Davidson ‘hugely’ got it wrong in a fantastic weekend that saw him disqualified after beating Lewis Hamilton to US GP victory by 2.2 seconds.
Hamilton started Sunday’s race in Austin third on the grid with Max Verstappen sixth.

The 2021 title contenders are closing in, with early race leader Lando Norris also vying for victory.
Mercedes insisted that defense should be turned into attack.

Verstappen eventually took his 15th win of the season, with Hamilton crossing the line 2.225 seconds later.

Perhaps the biggest issue of the day was that Mercedes called on Hamilton for a unique strategy.
However, as the driver struggled to keep his grip on the wheel, he ended up hitting the driver and had to make two stops.

But by then the game was over and Verstappen was always two stops ahead of Hamilton, and in the pits he attacked the Briton a lap ahead of him.
Davidson admits Mercedes should have done something different with Verstappen.
Because the Dutch would still have won with the same strategy.
But he wonders if Mercedes were too defensive with a ball in the first place.

“If they hadn’t taken the reserve strategy today and tried to make up for guys like Verstappen at the end of the race, I think Verstappen would have covered them,” he said.
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“If he had followed the same strategy, I think Verstappen would have had the pace in the car to win today’s race with the same strategy.

“Finally, I don’t think Mercedes fully understood the speed of their car today.
“But I think Red Bull could have responded with the same strategy as Max. I think Mercedes should have thought outside the defensive box.
“Maybe with this update, it’s time to stop feeling negative and defensive and start attacking more strategically.”

Lewis Hamilton lost a second to Max Verstappen.

The former F1 driver continues to investigate what went wrong with the seven-time world champion, but believes a few minor mistakes by Hamilton didn’t help.

“When you get that close, you have to look at the little details,” said the former F1 driver.
“One of those moments came for Lewis in turn 11.
It was a costly stall, a mistake and a crucial moment in the race.
“There were drivers in front of him fighting and trying to stop him. Verstappen was the first of this trio.
That’s why this round was so important.”

Davidson admitted he was “very critical” because Hamilton had a “fantastic” weekend and the lockout was “unfortunate in terms of timing because now he’s fighting very closely with Verstappen and Norris”.

“I think it should be worth at least half a second in such a wide corner on the marble.”

Mercedes, who had a flat tire, had no choice but to abandon the one-stop strategy and replace Hamilton with a two-stop.
However, his first stop was slow at 3.6 seconds.

“You also had a slow pit stop,” Davidson said.
“It’s fair to say Mercedes haven’t been the best or fastest this year, but this stop was slower than they expected.

“That was another flaw in the armor, another problem.
Fix both and you could be one second ahead of the end of the race.

“Especially in a race where there’s no safety car or virtual safety car, everything counts.”

Another lost a second to Charles Leclerc.

But it was the battle between Hamilton and Charles Leclerc that Davidson said was the biggest blow to the Briton’s chances as he trailed the Ferrari after the second pit stop.
According to British estimates, this cost his countrymen more than “six-seven-tenths”, if not “seconds”.

“It was not a good moment after Leclerc.
He was following him with a wheel in the middle.
“Leclerc is trying to use a unique strategy here,” he explained.
“He could have saved time if he had taken him to this corner.
It wasn’t close enough. He tried to transition to the outside of turn 2 but lacked the momentum and was unable to transition as effectively as he would have liked.
“He was always losing time in these high-speed sections and had to keep up with Leclerc.
“I probably lost six or seven more in the whole series.
You might even lose a second because Leclerc is so slow.”

Hamilton’s efforts led to the British W14 being disqualified after the race for failing on-board and post-race floor inspection.
The plates installed in his car turned out to be thinner than the required thickness of 9mm.


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