We win and lose together as a team,”explains Lewis Hamilton after his disappointing fourth place in Singapore. But the Formula One World Champion notes that he was not satisfied with the decisions of his team this Sunday. Hamilton was ranked second after the start and was stuck behind the Ferrari by Charles Leclerc, who was dragging the pace at the top.
Hamilton asked Mercedes for an undercut, but Mercedes did not come. We discussed the undercut, but there was a risk of being stuck in traffic,”says team leader Toto Wolff at”Sky”. This was also a valid argument at the beginning of the race. But when there was a gap in the middle field, Mercedes decided not to take Hamilton to the box.
Sebastian Vettel used this gap instead. He stopped at just the right time, jumped from place three to one and won in the end. Ferrari did it “right”, Wolff confesses. They had nothing to lose. I think everyone was surprised how strong the undercut was,”said the Austrian. Everyone? No, because Hamilton predicted, according to his own statement, that the strategy would start.
Wolff praises “courageous” Ferrari decision
“I know we should have tried an undercut. I knew it the morning of the meeting. I said we should just take the risk. But they are not,”he shrugs. During the race, the Brit once again called on his radio team to bet on an undercut. But Mercedes chose the conservative path.
“We put this away. But it hurts, so we could have easily won today,”Hamilton gets angry, for which square four in the end was no more than a damage limitation.” The undercut came from somewhere. There was a lot of traffic, that was a really brave call. We discussed it and did not do it,”says Wolff in the”ORF”and recognizes in retrospect:”This was a real mistake.”
Because instead of Vettel Hamilton could have been at the top of the winning podium if Mercedes had also brought the World Champion to the service in Round 19. Leclerc stopped a round to Vettel, but Hamilton did not arrive until round 26. Why did Mercedes wait so long afterwards?” At this point we had already lost the position to Sebastian,”explains Wolff.
Mercedes with problems after the re-starts
“The victory was gone, and then we tried to drive a little longer. Lewis said the tires were still in good condition, and we knew that [Vettel and Leclerc] would eventually run into traffic. Many assumptions, but in the end everything was different. Our tyres simply fell off and were no longer competitive at all. That’s why we ended up in no-man’s-land,”said Wolff.
The three safety-car phases in the final phase made it possible for Hamilton to get straight to the top three. But Wolff doesn’t think the safety car helped Mercedes on Sunday, on the contrary. I think we even had too many safety cars in the end,”he says, explaining:”Once we got into the swing, we also had a fast car.”
“But we never really got into the roll because we had a slow car in the beginning. After every single reboot, we missed Pace. This is the reality,”Wolff admits, and to the question of what he would do differently in retrospect, the Austrian replies with a bang:”Everything. We’ve been on the wrong foot all weekend. It might be good to get a healthy watsuit.”
Wolff gets angry about”too many bugs”
“There were too many bugs – uncommon. A weekend that can be totally written off,”Wolff waved. While it was the third victory in the series for Ferrari, Mercedes has been victorious since the summer break. Is the advance of the silver arrows crumbling or is the current Ferrari strength just a snapshot?” They already have a good package. This must be taken seriously,”warns Wolff.
“We do,”he assures, but admits:”Today they are one and two, and the result says it all. In sport, those who do it best win.”When asked if he is worried about the upcoming race in Russia, he replied,”Yes, you always have to worry and be attentive. They have won the last three races.”
“We must not rest on our laurels from the beginning of the season and our scorer,”he warns, and Hamilton adds:”It feels like they are hungrier at the moment. So we just have to get a tooth in. We are able to do this, we are still the best team.”With regard to the World Cup this is without question true, since Mercedes still has a lead of 133 points ahead of Ferrari.