Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles admits the the team made a foolish decision in pitting Valtteri Bottas when they did in the closing stages of the Portuguese GP.
With Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory, Mercedes opted to bring the Finn in and chase the fastest lap of the race, which brings with it an extra point. However that opened the door for Red Bull to bring in Max Verstappen from second and also chase the fastest lap of the race.
In the end Mercedes dodged a bullet because while the Dutchman did set the fastest lap, his time was deleted due to track limits. Vowles admits the team didn't consider all the possible outcomes.
“Short answer: Yes," Vowles stated in a Mercedes YouTube video when asked if pitting Bottas was a bad move. "The soft tyre was a difficult tyre to get working and more so we felt perhaps a couple of attempts at it would be on the safer side.
"It was foolish and in truth we hadn’t fully considered all the consequences of us stopping that much earlier, providing an opportunity for Verstappen to also stop.”