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Three reasons for the Mercedes defeat: & # 34; Ferrari was simply better & # 34;

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Three reasons for the Mercedes defeat
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N iki Lauda pulled his cap without envy. Team boss Toto Wolff sums it up with one sentence: 'Ferrari was simply better today.' The emphasis is on today. Sebastian Vettel saw it in principle the same way: '' We have used the circumstances here in our favor. What were the circumstances? A lot of heat with an asphalt temperature of up to 60 degrees, a track with fast corners that pushed the tires to their limit and an early SafetyCar phase that allowed Vettel to take the lead without having to overtake the Mercedes on the track.

For Mercedes, it was the worst possible factor. They turned an unearthly racing car into an earthly one. 'And Ferrari was on our level,' said Wolff. Ferrari had the lower tire wear, the better racing speed and the better tactics. Vettel was scheduled for two stops from the start. 'That was not possible for us,' admitted Lauda.

Strategy decisions that will be unpopular in the future

Lauda defends his two drivers' early pit stop, triggered by a SafetyCar phase. Toto Wolff is not so sure about that. 'Perhaps we should have split the tactics and let one of the two drivers use Sebastian's tactics. Also at the risk that in retrospect it would have been an unpopular decision from one of the two drivers.' But the fair play to which Mercedes is committed may soon be history. 'Equal treatment makes sense as long as we only compete against each other. Now we're going against a different opponent. We'll probably have to decide soon what is better from the team's point of view,' announced Wolff.

The early one The stop of the Mercedes put Vettel in the lead and Hamilton and Rosberg into traffic. By the time Hamilton had swum free, he was 9.9 seconds short of the Ferrari. Since Mercedes no longer has top speed, it is no longer easy to get past Force India, Lotus and ToroRosso. It took six laps for Hamilton to advance from sixth to second. Rosberg had to be patient even longer. He parked behind his teammate during the pit stop and lost 7.6 seconds and two more positions to Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa.

Mercedes did not trust the soft tire

the journeyin traffic the tires were even more difficult. Vettel was able to freeze the lead over Hamilton in his first turn between 9 and 10 seconds. The Mercedes drivers never recovered from this deficit. Wolff: 'From then on, our arithmetic no longer worked.' Because Ferrari was generally able to drive four laps longer on one set of tires before the rubber broke. 'We saw the danger rolling towards us after Raikkonen's racing simulation on Friday. He was damn quick on the soft tires,' said Wolff.

Nevertheless, Mercedes had miscalculated. After the long runs on Friday, the strategists in the Mercedes box gave preference to the harder tire. In retrospect, a mistake. The Mercedes plan was already indicated in the qualifying, and Ferrari did not hide it. Hamilton and Rosberg wasted two sets of 'Medium' each in Q1 and Q2. Ferrari, on the other hand, felt more comfortable on the softer compound and reserved two fresh sets of them for the race.

Hamilton was amazed that he got the hard tires for the last stint. 'We only had one used soft. It would have collapsed after 15 laps,' regretted team manager Ron Meadows. Not enough if you still have to drive 18 laps.

Ferrari victory good for the big picture

Mercedes has been warned, but not nervous. The race in Malaysia was just an outlier like the season opener in Melbourne. The vast superiority of the Silver Arrows in Australia is just as unrepresentative as Ferrari's honestly fought victory in Malaysia. And the third race in Shanghai will again not provide a clear answer. The circuit eats the front tires like no other.

Wolff is calm about the further duels with Ferrari: 'For the big picture, it is good that Ferrari has won. But we will now keep calm, analyze and more Finding speed for the next race. Maybe our car set-up was too aggressive for the tires. We looked a little too closely at our form on a lap. Our car is designed more for downforce than for top speed. We'll have to keep up with that in the future take our strategy into account. '

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