Mercedes let Hamilton’s intermediate tyres turn into slicks, why?

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

As Lewis Hamilton crossed the finish line at the Turkish Grand Prix, his intermediate tyres were so worn out that they looked like slicks.

Hamilton amazingly won the Turkish Grand Prix and his seventh world title after a very long stint on intermediate tyres, so long in fact, that they looked like slick tyres by the end of the race.

Mercedes’ Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles explained how much data the team had on intermediate and wet tyres and why they allowed the inters to turn into slicks.

“We don’t have the luxury of an abundance of data with those tyres,” said Vowles in Mercedes race debrief.

“We need continuous and complete practice to understand those wet weather tyre. What makes the difference is that the Intermediates and the Wet have not changed that much in recent years.

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“We can use that data and understand what the tyres are doing here.

“When the track gets drier and you drive on inters, the rubber wears out on the surface. There’s also less and less water that needs to be processed.

“You continue driving until it becomes a smooth tyre and that tire is actually a soft tyre with low temperature. It’s a rubber tyre with a lot of grip that just works well.

“That’s why it’s not such a problem to wear out the Inters,” concluded Vowles.

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