Christian Horner mocks Mercedes after Hamilton frustrations

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Christian Horner claims Red Bull would have “had the advantage” even if Mercedes made better tyre choices for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Horner has admitted he was “surprised” Mercedes opted to run the medium and hard tyres which cost them a chance of victory.

Hamilton was able to stay with Verstappen during the opening stint but quickly dropped back after the pit stops. The Silver Arrows opted to fit the seven-time champion with the hard compound tyre but he fell over 10 seconds behind the Red Bull.

He said: “The medium and the hard tyre… you just don’t have that much grip on that. We were surprised that Mercedes was so conservative with this strategy.” When asked if Mercedes could have won the race with better tyre choices, Horner still claimed the team’s strategy wouldn’t have worked out.

Horner added: “I think we would still have the advantage. But they would have been a lot closer to the win. You heard the drivers were not happy with the hard tyre.

“And you know, that’s the second race weekend in a row that they’re using that tyre and it might cost the win. I found it quite surprising.” Hamilton repeatedly questioned the German manufacturer’s tyre decision over team radio.

The Briton remarked: “This tyre is not as good as the medium.” Several laps later, he asked: “Are we on the wrong tyre mate?”

However, race engineer Peter Bonnington still assumed Red Bull would not be able to reach the end of the race on their medium compound tyres. He responded: “No Lewis, we think we’re on the right tyre, we’re going to get to the end on this, no sweat.”

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Russell also criticised the hard tyres and even called for the team to bring him back in to switch to softs. The 24-year-old moaned: “I’m not happy with this tyre, I’m sliding around a lot.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff accepted the team had made the wrong tyre choice after the chequered flag. Wolff commented: “In hindsight, it is always easier to judge but the one-stop medium-hard looked like the right strategy.

“The medium at the end holding so long came as a surprise. If we were to restart the race, maybe we would choose a different tyre.”

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