Mercedes is working to fix some problems related with the ultra-soft tire. Niki hopes to see a drop-out of the German pilot Vettel or he believes Mercedes is done for.
This is not a mission impossible, what Mercedes is called to do it is not easy. It is clear a disadvantage of 25 points with this Ferrari it is going to be a difficult task and there is not option to take a false stop. This is still a very long season, more than 14 races ahead, so points and a potential to recover they are just over there. One question is about what they can do to fix quickly a critical disfunction of this W08 car when they use the ultra-soft tire. Right now, Mercedes has got some troubles to get a uniformity of grip between first and rear area. They do not look too good to activate Pirelli’s tires during any condition of asphalt or climate so to obtain a constant grip on both axles.
June and July are going to be crucial moments to decide this championship, even if on 5 races, at least two of them will require to use those tires with a violet label. Those tires are so unsufferable to Mercedes but they will be important in Canada and Austria. Someone is saying, even Baku can become quite complicate for Hamilton, no matter if super-soft will be selected. Hamilton, after Monte-Carlo, just said:
“When I went to Monte-Carlo, I thought we could face some very difficult races but on those tracks we were pretty much competitive. Our problem is that any tire becomes an uncertainty, so taking into account we will do next races with the same tires, this is not a good news for us.
We got a lack of performance just when we use the ultra-soft and we must understand in the next couple of weeks what is possible to do to fix it”
Niki Lauda gave another alarm. During a championship a mechanical problem can not underestimated, so the Austrian believes any component used by Sebastian Vettel, like his power-unit where they changed 4 turbos and 3 MGU-H, can become fundamental or Mercedes will never recover this disadvantage. In fact, after the fifth component changed, there will be a penalty of 10 position on the pit-lane:
“Something is sure, Vettel must drop-out at least one time or it is over for us. This Ferrari is keeping a good impulse and if they will not slow-down this gap will increase”
A strategical rotation of some fundamental elements in the power-unit during the week-end, it is a possibility Ferrari will keep in mind to avoid any possibility to use too much turbos. Even in this scenario, a penalization along this season it does not look crazy. A push back on the pit-lane, it might be managed properly, hence it can limit any loose of points during a week-end, so Hamilton thinks they should not rely too much on this:
“We must improve ourself, test and check many details to understand the reason our car is not able to use on kind of tire but there is not any problem with others. If this is a question about the amount of laps we use to warm-up or cool down a tire, we still do not know. It must be understood. At the same time, we deteriorate more our front tires than our rear-tires. We think this is due to our set-up where we prefer more an under-steering car than a over-steering one.
It is necessary to study all those subjects, as well as our braking balance instead of thinking if Ferrari used another power-unit or not”