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Wolff attempts to defend the indefensible

Following the Monaco Grand Prix Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff attempted to explain the reasoning behind the blunder that cost Lewis Hamilton the race.

Prior to the first corner crash between Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Lotus's Romain Grosjean, Hamilton held a lead of over 20 seconds to second place Nico Rosberg and third placed Sebastian Vettel.

The virtual safety car and then the actual safety car then came into play, decreasing the gap between the leaders.

Under normal race conditions, a pit-stop appeared to take anywhere between 19 and 23 seconds, so with this window in play Mercedes considered the thought of changing tyres.

Mercedes appeared to be spooked by the thought of Hamilton being left on old soft tyres which had lost their tyre temperatures behind the safety car, whilst Vettel could have been on super-soft tyres which would have been faster.

With this in mind, they covered the potential strategy of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. But without a big enough gap to get in and out of the pits, the decision cost Hamilton.

With Vettel and Ferrari not even considering the option to pit, Hamilton return to the track in third place.

“We had a problem in the maths. We thought we could afford a safety stop in order to protect against Sebastian Vettel going on the soft tyre. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports.

“When Lewis was in Rascasse they were not going into Tabac yet, so there was plenty of time to do a stop.

“At the end of the day we got the maths wrong. The calculation that was giving the gap was giving us a bigger gap than we actually had. Full stop.”


Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda added: “It’s clear. No discussion. This is for me unacceptable.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 26 2015

Time: 11:23AM

 

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