Toto Wolff says a soft/medium strategy “was never on the radar”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After losing out to Red Bull at the Mexican Grand Prix, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff concedes the team could have picked a better tyre strategy.

At the Mexican Grand Prix both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell started the race on medium tyres and then switched to hards, however, they were no match for the Red Bulls, who started on softs and then switched to mediums.

After the race Toto Wolff conceded the team could have picked a better strategy.

“In hindsight, it is always easier to judge but the one-stop medium-hard looked like the right strategy,” Wolff said.

“The medium at the end holding so long came as a surprise. If we were to restart the race, maybe we would choose a different tyre.”

Wolff added Mercedes could have copied Daniel Ricciardo’s strategy, who started on mediums, did an extended stint, and then switched to softs.

“It could have been that we lose more time on the medium for another five or six laps and then try to do 30 laps on the soft.

“But also that was not even very good, although with Daniel you can see it was possible.”

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While talking to Sky Sports, Wolff further explained why they went with the medium/hard combination.

“We were pressured with Lewis to do that. We didn’t think the medium would go anywhere near the end.

“We are totally surprised with the way Perez hammered the tyres and it still hung on. We just got it wrong.

“We discussed whether the soft/hard was a viable one-stop strategy and soft/medium was never on the radar.”

Mercedes now sits only 40 points behind second-placed Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship standings. Wolff was asked if Mercedes could overtake the Italian team by the end of the season.

“We need to be careful to jump to quick assumptions. They were clearly not fast this weekend, but it was also on our simulations our best weekend. So, let’s see what happens in Brazil.

“Finishing second would be great for all our people, and a win would be fantastic to demonstrate that the car was fast,” the Austrian concluded.

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