Chief Strategist James Vowles answers your Italian GP queries...
Louie Radford - Facebook
- Did Lewis have any damage from the collision with Vettel?
James Vowles: "The answer is, yes. In Vettel's case, it required a front wing change and he had damage around the floor.
"In our case as well there was damage sustained on the left-hand side of the car, around the floor and sidepod area.
"It was not so extensive that clearly he couldn't fight for the win anymore. It didn't dramatically affect the balance of the car, but it was a loss of performance.
"We didn't really see the extent of the damage until the end of the race when we could have a look around the car."
Usman Ahmed (@usmanA23) - Twitter
- Why didn't you guys report about the unsafe release of Vettel in front of the Sauber?
JV: "The FIA are extremely diligent and are very much looking at this matter all of the time.
"There are a number of cameras around the pit lane that allow them to see what traffic is there and what is going on.
"In the case of Monza, the pit lane is incredibly wide and sufficient to be able to have a car in the fast lane and what we deem as the middle lane.
"So, effectively between where the pit stops take place and the fast lane. And two cars can run alongside safely.
"In the case of Monza, that's what happened with Vettel and why no penalty was issued."
Dan (@DanieISport) - Twitter
- How did you come to the decision to keep Hamilton out longer than Kimi?
JV: "Around lap 20 was the first opportunity we had with Lewis to undercut Kimi. Ferrari took that and covered the undercut, it was the correct decision. Had they not come in, we would have gone for the undercut at that point in time and stopped.
"As soon as that happened, you would've heard the message go out to Lewis of 'Hammertime', push as hard as you can, let's see if we can get an overcut which was the second of the options available to us. It was close, but it wasn't quite on the cards, we weren't able to do it, Kimi was incredibly quick on those fresh Soft tyres and was pushing very, very hard for a number of laps.
"We then opted for the third option which is available to us which is to go extremely long. In Monza, it is typically a one-stop race, typically the degradation is on the lower side and the tyres very much are a little bit flexible as to how many laps you can do on them. We pushed very, very long with the intention of creating a big performance delta between Lewis and Kimi.
"And normally, you would lose race time, Kimi would be very quick, he was on fresher tyres. He would pull back in towards you again, so you'd lose some of the gap which you'd have to make up end of race. On this occasion, though, Valtteri was also going very long against Verstappen and what it meant is Kimi was ultimately caught up in traffic, Lewis was able to stop much later on, have fresher tyres and get caught up behind Kimi.
"And Kimi had done the damage by that point in time, blisters had started to form, he'd pushed incredibly hard and from then onwards it was a battle for Lewis and Kimi as to who could win the race, ultimately with Lewis overtaking fantastically into Turn 1 and taking the win."
Adam (@adam_plechac) - Twitter
- Did you plan to leave Valtteri on the track to help out Lewis, or was it just a circumstance, that Valtteri was a few seconds ahead and then you've decided to use him to help Lewis to catch Kimi?
JV: "With Valtteri, he was fighting extremely hard to get past Max on the first stint of the race but wasn't quite able to overtake. The only way we were going to get through him was again an undercut or offsetting the tyres.
"We'd chosen fairly early on to look after the tyres and go long on that stint. When Verstappen came in on lap 26 it allowed Valtteri some clean air to make the most off. And, Valtteri's pace was good. He was matching Verstappen on times even though Verstappen was on fresh Soft tyres.
"We knew that Valtteri could be interacting with Kimi, but the concept was also making sure Valtteri had the best chance possible of finishing on the podium. From then onwards, since he was matching Max's times, it was to go as long as we could and make sure that we had the freshest tyres possible to overtake at a later stage.
"That did mean that he interacted with Kimi and had to defend against Kimi but at no time was he losing any more time relative to Max, and all he was doing was building up a tyre buffer, which ended up working out very well for him."
Alex Mulcrow (@Alex_Mulcrow93) - Twitter
- Why was Bottas struggling to overtake Max? Surely the power difference should have made it easy?
JV: "First stint of the race, Valtteri and Max were on exactly the same age tyres, SuperSoft, and in a situation where the Red Bull was very quick in a straight line.
"It was a better car than it was in Qualifying, it was much faster in race trim than it had been in Qualifying trim and furthermore Red Bull had opted for a slightly lower drag setting than perhaps us and Ferrari.
"As a result of it, they were very competitive in a straight line. Max is difficult to get past in the best of times and in that circumstance, once we'd seen that we just simply didn't have the straight-line speed and the run on him to do it, we opted to look after the tyres, sit behind and wait.
"Later on in the race, you'd have seen Valtteri on much fresher tyres relative to Max and very competitive. In that circumstance, Max was now under a huge amount of pressure. He went off at the first chicane and had a joker called as a result of it, he could only do that one more time.
"The second time Valtteri got alongside, you would've seen what happened, Max didn't quite leave enough room and made contact with Valtteri. Those are just signs of the fact that with our tyre offset, we were now just a faster car.
"Had that contact not happened and Valtteri not had a loss of lap time, really Valtteri would've been fighting for P2 in that race."
Luke (@lukeminettt) - Instagram
- How have you modified the car this season to improve its tyre management and degradation as last season and previous you struggled with getting tyres to optimal temperatures?
JV: "The car itself is continuously evolving and the tyre group are very much a part of that. Everyone is working on small, minute marginal gains that add up to a car that can win a race.
"In terms of the tyre team, they have done an incredible job over the last 12 months and even more between Spa, where we suffered from blistering, and Monza, where really, we were the best car on tyres.
"There is an incredible amount of work that goes into understanding every single detail of how we should be using the tyres and they have done a fantastic job."
Justina (@justina19860702) - Twitter
- Has the team found a solution for following cars closely? First time in a long time both Lewis and Valtteri were following and had no visible problems.
JV: "To follow the car in front, you really have to be faster than it, the faster you are the closer you can get to it, ultimately perhaps leading to an overtake.
"And in Monza we had a very competitive race car, two drivers using it very effectively and the balance was really working very, very well.
"Monza also as a track layout lends itself much more to being able to follow the cars in front. You have straight corner sequences where you can close the gap back up again.
"A combination of both of those meant that ultimately, we were able to stay right there with the Ferrari."