Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks his team was right to gamble on trying to get Lewis Hamilton through Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix on a single set of inters.

Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it

The world champion had made a strong recovery from 11th on the grid to run fifth behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the midpoint of the race.

But as a number of cars ahead of him pitted for fresh inters, Hamilton joined Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in electing to try to stick it out until the end without a change.

Although that decision cost both drivers when it became clear that the inters were not going to last, Wolff thinks that Mercedes made the right approach in pushing for what could have been a much better result.

“The intermediate obviously looked really scary but we thought that we could maybe hang out there and finish third with not stopping,” Wolff told Sky F1.

“And, if a dry line appeared, maybe even going onto a soft tyre until the end. So we balanced between pitting, taking it very conservative in fighting with Leclerc and Perez on the track for P3, or taking a little bit of a gamble but either winning or finishing third.

“But when we saw Leclerc dropping off and then Lewis started dropping off, it was clear we wouldn't make it to the end.”

Despite the later than ideal pitstop dropping Hamilton behind Perez and Leclerc, Wolff thinks that it was worth his team trying to go for something better – and said there would be no finger pointing at his strategists about points that were potentially lost.

“We've never had any problems, and there is plenty of time to debate it here and on the flight,” he said. “But it's clear in the car you just have a limited amount of information and overall I think that was worth the try today.”

Wolff accepts that with hindsight a better option would have been to stop earlier – potentially when the idea was first discussed between the pitwall and Hamilton.

“The correct call would have probably been taking it very conservative and pitting when everybody pitted for the intermediate, coming out behind Perez, probably behind Leclerc, and then fighting with them on track for P3,” he said.

“That would have probably been the correct choice, but this is only with hindsight after the race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton explains why Mercedes F1 tyre call left him 'frustrated'

Previous article

Hamilton explains why Mercedes F1 tyre call left him 'frustrated'

Next article

Mazepin: “Driving blind” in dirty spray caused near-miss with Hamilton

Mazepin: “Driving blind” in dirty spray caused near-miss with Hamilton
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021