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Mercedes with alternative strategy: starting position sacrificed for free tire choice

Mercedes with alternative strategy
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M ercedes was under observation in Singapore. For the first time, the cars were fitted with the Coanda exhaust that drivers and engineers have expected so much from. Especially after the new aerodynamic package turned out to be a significant improvement on the old version in the rookie test in Magny-Cours. And the wind tunnel also promised better times.

Mercedes reduces ground clearance

The disappointment on the first day of training was correspondingly great. There wasn't much to be seen of progress. On the contrary: the tires did not want to come into their work window. Overnight the engineers thought a lot and turned the setup upside down. Presumably, like some other Friday victims, they reduced the ground clearance. 'That way we were able to make better use of the package's strengths,' explained team boss Ross Brawn.

And the speed was already back. Not to uproot trees, but enough to make it into the top ten. 'This is a very complex system. It is more difficult for the engineers than for us to fully understand it,' said Nico Rosberg, supporting the team. Michael Schumacher summed it up in a nutshell: 'We're currently learning a new car.' Brawn adds: 'It will take a few races before we can use our full potential.'

Mercedes learns from Monza mistakes

They stayed in Q3 Silver arrows in the garage. The starting positions nine and ten were cemented. Not driving on Saturday can be an advantage on Sunday. Rosberg and Schumacher are free to choose their tires. And they each have three fresh sentences up their sleeves. Two of the brand supersoft, one of the soft type. 'We didn't want to run into the same problem as Monza,' explained Ross Brawn. 'We paid for qualification in the first stint. The tires were too badly damaged.'

That can be fatal in a tire race like the one in Singapore. Experts expect the first tire changes in the leading group after ten laps. The Mercedes should warm up with the harder tire compound. Sebastian Vettel sees no great danger. 'We should be so far ahead that the cars that drive with a different strategy won't hurt us.'

Rosberg lets Schumacher go first

One can be mistaken, as the example of Sergio Perez in Monza showed. 'The tire wear is extremely high here, so the advantage of being freeTire choice ', gives Rosberg to consider. In Schumacher's opinion, one has not sacrificed too much anyway:' If we had driven, we would have been at most one place further up. '

That Schumacher was in the fifth row eight meters in front of his team-mate is because he has the lower starting number on his car. This is crucial if two or more drivers cannot show a lap time in Q3. Rosberg had waived the lower number despite the better points gained last year . 'That's what I agreed with Ross before the season. Let's see what we do next year ', explained Rosberg.


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