Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he would prefer his drivers not to chase the additional fastest lap point introduced for the 2019 Formula 1 season.

For this season, drivers can earn a bonus point for setting the fastest lap of the race, providing they finish inside the top ten.

The regulation tweak added another dimension of intrigue to the closing stages of the Melbourne season-opener as a number of drivers battled it out for the extra point on offer.

Valtteri Bottas eventually claimed the fastest lap point and in doing so went against Wolff's pre-race instructions for his drivers not to take the risk. Despite Bottas successfully collecting an extra point for his team, Wolff insists his view on the subject remains the same.

“I’m still against targeting the fastest lap times, because one day somebody running in the top three is going to put it in the wall and throw away the 25, 18 or 15 points,” Wolff said.

“I hope this day happens when I am gone, but it is going to happen. But I can’t do anything about it, these guys are out of control and will anyway go for it.”

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

In terms of race-day strategy, Wolff said is unsure whether a one or two-stop strategy will be best.

“If you are able to stretch it with a one-stop strategy, that will be very fast,” Wolff explained.

“But on two-stop there are a multitude of strategies, and when you look at the tyres that the teams have left between Mediums and Softs, I think it will be very much learning on the job and seeing how much you can stretch the initial stint.

Asked about how he sees strategy playing out, Bottas replied: “Well the difference to last year is the tarmac is rougher each year and now we have less tread on the tyres.

“So in theory the tyre life is shorter. One-stop was not easy last year, we saw some big drop-off towards the end of the stints.

“This year it could be very difficult to do one stop. There might be a possibility but that's something we will find as we go. But I’m sure around the pit stops it can be interesting between Ferrari and our two cars, fighting with them.

“Strategy-wise it’s going to be a very important race in terms of what we can do around the stops.”

Hamilton added: “It’s very, very hard this race. It’s very tough on tyres and it’s a physically challenging circuit. It is incredibly challenging for the cars as well, so I just hope that there’s some excitement.”

Comments

Loading Comments...