Toto Wolff admits mediums for Hamilton was mistake: "His driving saved us"

26-05-2019 19:16
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Toto Wolff admits mediums for Hamilton was mistake: His driving saved us

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has admitted the team made a mistake bolting medium tyres on Lewis Hamilton's car, as the Austrian said Hamilton's driving "saved" Mercedes.

Hamilton limped to the finish line on completely cooked tyres as he survived suffocating pressure from Max Verstappen behind, who was on a harder compound and had more grip.

The five-time champion was constantly talking on the team radio about the strategy and the decision to go for mediums rather than the harder compound but eventually got his third win in Monaco.

Speaking to RaceFans, Wolff admitted Mercedes had made a mistake fitting the medium tyre on Hamilton's W10.

“It was obviously the wrong call,” Wolff admitted to RaceFans.

“We thought the tyre would make it to the end, and it didn’t, but he saved us. His driving saved us. It’s something we really need to analyse.

“What we calculated is if we were to change lap 15 or 16 the medium would make it to the end with the right management. So being in the lead, that was a pretty straight strategy. It didn’t even seem like a huge stretch.

[But] we realised 20 laps into the race that on the left-front some graining appeared. He started to complain about the understeer that resulted from the graining and it was clear that it would get very, very difficult to make it to the end.

"Everybody knew that it was going to be a huge stretch and I believe that probably laps to the end he had zero per cent rubber left on the tyre. We had massive understeer around the slow speed, go could see around Loews the car wouldn’t turn any more.”

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