Wolff concedes Hamilton difficulty in calling shots from in car
Ian Parkes & Will Gray
Toto Wolff believes it was “always very difficult” for Lewis Hamilton to have dictated his strategy during the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton had fought his way into the top five from 11th on the grid at Istanbul Park but decided to extend his stint on balding intermediate tyres whilst others, including Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, pitted for a new set.
When Mercedes attempted to pull Hamilton in, the Briton refused and attempted to hold onto an unlikely podium with a single set of tyres, but when it became apparent this would have seen him fall down the order, Hamilton pitted with eight laps remaining.
Hamilton was frustrated over team radio, although denied any anger after the race but despite the calls of anguish in the closing stages, Wolff stood by the call.
“I think in the car it is always very difficult to assess your position in the race,” said Wolff.
“We could have either played it very conservatively and pitted him when Verstappen, Perez at the time pitted and then fought it out on track. [We would have] probably come out behind Perez and fight for P4, P3 on track.
“The other thing was to try to go long and either think it’s transitioning to a dry tyre or just not stopping anymore. So there were two possible options that sounded quite good.”
Hamilton’s decision to stay out looked fruitful whilst those that had pitted battled through a graining phase with new intermediate tyres before they quickly found pace as the Mercedes’ tyre wear deteriorated.
“Unfortunately, the pace just dropped off much quicker than we would have needed to stay third or even fourth or fifth,” explained Wolff.
“We almost lost the window against Gasly and then we decided let’s consolidate fifth.
“So I think in hindsight, I would have pitted 10 laps earlier and fought it out on track and finished third or fourth. But there was much more to gain from the other more dynamic variant.”
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October 13, 2021 at 05:02AM