Wolff explains decision to change Mercedes’ strategy in Mexico

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Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff has explained the decision to change the strategy of both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton midway through Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Rosberg and Hamilton ran first and second throughout the race, making their first pit stops on lap 26 and 28 respectively. Mercedes originally planned to run both to the end of the race on the medium compound tire.

However, on lap 46, Rosberg pitted for a second time, taking another set of mediums. Hamilton continued for another two laps before stopping, questioning the logic behind Mercedes’ decision.

After the race, both Rosberg and Hamilton – who duly finished first and second respectively – said that their tires felt fine, leaving neither certain why the decision to pit was taken.

However, Wolff explained after the race that in light of the 30 second gap to the field that had been built up and the tire wear during the first stint, Mercedes opted to play it safe and bring both drivers in.

“From our side, it was a simple precaution,” Wolff said. “After the first stint on the option tire, we had seen higher than expected wear levels and one of Lewis’ tires was even down to 0% rubber.

“The stint we were trying to do with the prime was already on the limit, and with that information in hand and a pit-stop gap to spare to the next car, it was the low-risk option to stop both cars again.

“Lewis obviously had a few questions about that and that’s totally normal – race drivers have emotions and if they didn’t focus on winning every time, they wouldn’t be the talents they are. But we have the overview on the pit wall and Lewis followed the instruction to pit.

“After that, the safety car came out and made the matter academic: we would have pitted both cars for fresh tires anyway. But it was Nico’s day today: he didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend and fully deserved his win.”

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.