Toto Wolff explains why Mercedes didn’t pit Hamilton

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

At the Dutch Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was basically left a sitting duck on older medium tyres, with Max Verstappen on fresh softs behind him. Toto Wolff explains what happened.

Lewis Hamilton was catching Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix, before the Safety Car came out. Verstappen then pitted for fresh soft tyres, while Mercedes decided to leave Lewis on the track on older mediums, hoping that he will be able to keep P1 in the final laps of the race.

However, the team did pit George Russell for fresh softs, and ultimately Lewis got overtaken by Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc, finishing the race in P4.

The Briton was obviously not happy and expressed his frustration to the team over the radio.

“I can’t believe you guys f**** me, can’t tell you how *** I am,” Lewis said.

After the race team boss Toto Wolff explained Mercedes’ decisions.

“We discussed in the morning, are we taking a risk for the race win? Yes, we are taking risks,” the Austrian told Sky Sports F1.

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“He had a tyre that was five laps old from the medium. Holding position was the right thing to do. At the end, it didn’t work out for him but I would rather take the risk to win with Lewis rather than finish second and third.

“Lewis was ahead, so you always have a problem with the call. You can do two things, you can either pit Lewis and lose track position against Verstappen and leave George out – screwed. You can leave both out – screwed. So it was worth taking the risk.

“If you do that [leave both out] you have both on an old tyre, but this would have guaranteed second and third and we wouldn’t have raced for the win with Lewis.”

Toto also added that putting both drivers on soft tyres would have been a mistake.

“I think the Red Bull has so much straightline speed that all on the same tyre out there is no way we are winning.

“I think we can look at the positives and this is what I just discussed with Lewis, there is so much more positive to take.

“Of course second and fourth is annoying but we felt we had a good race car here. That’s what is most important and you’ve got to take risks where we are.”

The Austrian then commented on Lewis’ radio message.

“We are the trash bin for the driver, it is highly emotional. It is clear that every emotion comes out.

“And if you are a driver in the cockpit, you are alone and you don’t see what is happening,” Wolff concluded.

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