Mercedes have explained why their pitstop to switch Lewis Hamilton to the intermediate tyre was slower than expected.
Hamilton had been in a tight battle with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, and could have possibly overtaken the Dutch driver when the Mercedes pitted on Lap 28 after setting a personal best lap on his in-lap.
Any chance of passing the Red Bull evaporated when Hamilton's pitstop took four seconds, almost double the average pitstop time and what Red Bull had managed with Verstappen.
“Well it is fair to say that we're not the best," Mercedes' Andrew Shovlin explained when asked about why the team's pitstop was so much slower.
Speaking on the official Mercedes debrief video, the engineer explained that a wheelgun issue had added to the time needed for the stop.
"In particular though, in Lewis' stop we did have an issue with one of the pit stop guns," Shovlin said.
"For the next stop, we actually changed to a different gun and that seemed to resolve that issue and also there was a short hold.
"We had [to] hold him for around four tenths of a second because [Antonio] Giovinazzi was coming down the pitlane just at the point that Lewis was ready to go."
While there was extraneous circumstances for this particular stop, Mercedes rarely top the timesheets for fastest pitstops. This is an area where Red Bull excel, frequently finishing races with the fastest stop. Shovlin acknowledged its a particular weakness that Mercedes want to address.
"We are losing time in the pit stops and it is an area that we have been focussing on for a
"As I said, there was some specific instances that affected us in the race in Imola and we will look to work on those but longer term we are still looking at what we can do with the crew, with the equipment trying to find a bit more time in the stops.”