21 April 2014
WEC: Wurz ‘surprised’ by Toyota tyre call
Alex Wurz is forced to settle for second place after the 'surprising' decision by Toyota to put its lead car on wet tyres.
Alexander Wurz admits he was surprised to have Toyota make the call to put his car on wet tyres during the early stages of the Silverstone 6 Hours, a move that ultimately cost it victory against his team-mates.
Starting from pole position, Wurz had spent the first hour battling with the No.2 Audi of Andre Lotterer, but the arrival of rain would throw a strategic curve ball into the mix, with the German marque opting to leave its driver out on slick tyres in the hope the conditions would clear.
Toyota, meanwhile, called Wurz in to place him on wet tyres, a move brought about by its attempt to hedge its bets between its two cars having placed the sister No.8 car of Sebastien Buemi onto intermediate tyres first.
However, intermediate tyres would prove the better choice, with Buemi moving into a clear lead that he and his team-mates Anthony Davdison and Nicolas Lapierre would protect to the end of the race.
Indeed, though Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima and Stephane Sarrazin attempted to recover the ground lost when the circuit was dry later on, it would be forced to settle for second place. For ex-F1 driver Wurz, he found the decision 'surprising' to not give the leading Toyota first call, but understands why the strategy was split.
“I was surprised. The team made a strategy call that worked out well for car No.8, but it didn't favour us. The team made the right choice by not putting two eggs in one basket – especially on Easter weekend – but unfortunately it wasn't our basket.”
Davidson, however, played down the strategy call, saying he believed wet tyres would have been the better choice at the time, only to be proven wrong himself.
“There is always going to be a winner or a loser and it could have easily been us,” he told Crash.net. “I didn't look at the radar before that, which was accurate throughout the whole race, I looked at the sky and thought we had made the wrong call by going on the intermediates. The inters, as soon as there is standing water, you aquaplane, so I was sure we had made the wrong call, but then the weather dispersed and gave us a drier spell.”
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