There is a quote from last year a few pages back talking about how the skill then was to start each stint a few seconds slower a lap and slowly increase the speed as the tyres wear off, thus keeping a constant speed throughout the stint and making the tyres last as long as possible. I am not sure if the same thing is happening now, but might be. This is exactly the same thing though, it is not racing it is just following a predetermined plan for the race. A plan that was of course fed through a computer, most likely of course from data gained from the simulator.
This weeks race just made it so obvious, that last stint was just awful, there was no racing, everyone just following each other home.
Two year ago Lewis Hamilton would have been trying to get all over the back of Alonso, on Sunday he appeared to not even bother, he just sat there doing his times and trying to make it to the end of the race. Some are saying this shows a new mature Hamilton, that now appears to be rubbish. It is all that he can do because of the tyres.
Why else would the drivers be coming out and saying it?
And don't give me that story that Mercedes are only saying it because they want the tyres changed, Hamilton has supposedly come out and said something very similar and it was McLaren who were the most vocal about wanting the tyres made more unpredictable.
That's what I don't understand, the drivers are saying this is the case and yet there are people who don't believe them.
There was a very clear message from Lewis during the third stint (lap 33) when he was behind Massa and Alonso
"I can't get close enough to the back of these Ferraris"
around 7:50 in this vid.
The McLaren was just slow on Sunday and after 4 or 5 laps on each stint, both cars struggled with horrible traction.
Managing the tyres at the beginning of stints may be the best way to extend tyre life bit it is not the way Vettel did it on Sunday, or Raikkonen. Likewise, if you are trying to undercut someone in the pitstops - you need to push on the outlap.