And Hamilton did it, but the whole thing didn’t proceed without a glitch. Mercedes told the Briton to pit 10 laps before the end of the race, the idea was to put on hard tyres. However, Lewis was then told to “standby“ and later told to pit 4 laps before the end to switch to soft tyres. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff explains the confusion.
“Our communication was not great around that,” said the Austrian.
“In the morning we agreed that we wouldn’t pit for a quickest lap, that it was bearing too much risk.
“The call to pit around Lap 60 to protect against the safety car certainly would have been the right call, but then the gap was never quite comfortable enough. It was a second or two, then 2.5, then we hit backmarker traffic.
“Then obviously we communicated with Lewis, so at the end it was a bit of confusion, and four laps to the end he pitted to score the fastest lap.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from the intercom conversation that we had in the garage, and the communication to the driver.
“[It was] certainly not 1A, but at the end the result counts,” concluded Wolff.