It was a genius stamp that led to one of the big surprises of this F1 season.
Mercedes ’Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas had won the first four F1 races of the season, but on Sunday Red Bull’s Max Verstappen left the silver arrows behind. A key victory was the tactics being developed by Red Bull’s chief strategist Hannah Schmitz.
Verstappen was the only one of the top ten in the time trial to start the race with hard tires. And early in the race, it quickly became clear that the decision was the right one.
At the beginning of the race, Verstappen was able to drive considerably farther than the other top drivers before bending for the first pit stop on the pit.
- I didn't expect a win. Our car was fast and I had no tire problems at all.
- We had a great day, everything worked and our strategy was right. Everything went smoothly, and I am very happy to win, Verstappen said after the race and also remembered to thank the team at the crowd on the track and at the factory.
A successful tire strategy and strong driving brought the 22-year-old Verstappen the ninth victory of his F1 career.
According to the Swiss magazine Blick, Hannah Schmitz was primarily responsible for Red Bull's successful tire selection. The success of the British engineer garnered a lot of praise from F1 fans on social media. Fan writings included:
- Hannah Schmitz is my hero. What woman!
- Queen Hannah once again showed that women are capable of doing awesome things in formula number one.
- Red Bull is forced to give Hannah Schmitz a pay raise!
Some fans also praised Schmitz as the best strategist in the entire F1 series. Some, on the other hand, regretted that Schmitz could not get to the Silverstone podium after the race with Verstappen.
Schmitz received that honor last year at the F1 race in Brazil. At the time, Schmitz devised tactics that were considered bold, and the team took Verstappen to the depot stop after the safety car came on the track.
Hannah Schmitz reached the podium in F1 last year in Brazil. Next to him are second-placed Pierre Gasly, winner Max Verstappen and third-placed Lewis Hamilton.
Photo: Amanda Perobelli / Reuters
Verstappen lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton when he came to the pits, but thanks to tactics, he eventually rose to victory.
“He made an important tactical decision today and I felt it was right that he was allowed to go to pick up the trophy,” Red Bull team manager Christian Horner said at the time.
Last Sunday, with his victory, Verstappen rose second to Valtteri Bottas in the World Championship series. Hamilton leads the World Cup battle.