Wolff defends Mercedes strategy

09/07/2018
NEWS STORY

While some take the Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff line that yesterday's defeat at Silverstone was the result of "tactics" which involve Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen deliberately targeting the Silver Arrows, others are of the belief that had the Briton made a better start he would not have fallen 'victim' to The Iceman, and that at the same time, just one week after the strategic disaster that was Austria, the German team got it wrong again.

When the safety car was deployed following Marcus Ericsson's crash, Mercedes elected to leave both drivers out, thereby handing Valtteri Bottas the lead - and track position - over Vettel, while at the same time allowing Hamilton to get ahead of Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

However, Vettel made short work of Bottas, and in the latter stages as his tyres deteriorated further, the Finn was passed by Raikkonen and Verstappen.

"I think it was absolutely the right decision to do,'' said Wolff. "There were 15 or 16 laps until the end with mediums that would last.

"Gaining track position was the interesting one for us and that triggered our decision," he added. "I think that both strategies are valid. But doing the opposite was the choice we went for and at the end it brought us a P2 and P4 and I think considering how the race started, we need to accept the result as an acceptable outcome with real damage limitation.

"In hindsight I think the safety car went against him,'' he added. ''Sebastian was managing the tyres already again, like on the first set of the softs, you could see he was very fast at the beginning but then the tyre fell away.

"Maybe we would have had a chance at the end to attack with no safety car but that's two maybe's. Maybe we would have had the chance and maybe not.''

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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Published: 09/07/2018
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