Max Verstappen stated that Red Bull did think of starting on hard tyres in F1 Hungarian GP, but decided against after the out-lap.
The hard tyres stint for Ferrari undone their initial pace in F1 Hungarian GP, as they eventually not only lost to Red Bull but also Mercedes. Verstappen came through from 10th to secure the win and extend his lead on Charles Leclerc by 80 points.
While Ferrari stated that it lost pace as the race progressed, but most blamed the strategy decision to go on the hard tyres which didn’t look good for most. Both Red Bull and Mercedes opted not to go on that compound but Verstappen revealed that they did think.
The strategy pre-race was to start on the hard tyres, but on the out-lap to the grid Verstappen struggled for grip on the soft compound which pushed them to change their strategy. It was then they decided against it and opt out of using the hard compound.
“We were planning to start on the Hard tyre, but then I went to the grid on the Soft tyres, and I was already struggling for grip, so I was like ‘no way we’re going to start at the Hards’,” revealed Verstappen. “So, it’s also credit to the team, because we of course planned the strategy around that, with the Hard tyre, and then we were like okay, we were switching it to a Soft, we had a lot of confidence in just changing it around, then that’s what we did.
“I’m very happy that we did, because, yeah, the Hard tyre was really, really tough. And you could see that with Charles, he were sliding around a lot. So, that was after we made up our minds with the Soft, that was never, I think, I consideration. Our strategy was out of the window after the laps to the grid! So, we had to change it around and make a new one. But I don’t think that’s very hard for the team.
“They’re very flexible, and they know what they’re doing. So yeah, it was a bit different. And also, it was anyway, it was a bit difficult to predict, going into the race. We didn’t know that it was going to be spitting for most of the race you know? Makes it all a bit more tricky on the tyres,” summed up Verstappen.
In a grand prix which Red Bull won via timely strategic decision, Verstappen continued to praise them and in particular Hanna Schmitz, who eventually took the decision to overhaul their planned idea after the Dutchman reported of lack of grip.
Even if Red Bull hasn’t been 100% with their strategy but against Ferrari so far, they have come out on top, which is crucial in the title fight. “It’s incredibly important if you want to fight for a Championship,” said Verstappen. You can’t afford many mistakes. It’s of course, very hard, to always be on the good side, let’s say it like that.
“But I think we have a lot of good guys in the team and girls. Today, I think Hannah [Schmitz], our strategist, was insanely calm. Yeah, she’s very good,” summed up Verstappen, who also noted that his spin was more down to him warming his rear tyres more than he would have wanted.
While Red Bull did think of the hard tyres at the start of the grand prix, but Mercedes did not have that on mind at all. George Russell simply stated ‘no’ when asked if they thought about hard compound, which Pirelli did have it on their pre-race strategy prediction but only as an alternative option and not the favourite one.
Here’s Mattia Binotto, Charles Leclerc on their strategy