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Toto Wolff

Wolff concedes Mercedes tyre error in podium miss

Hamilton failed to take a top-three finish despite starting on pole.

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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has conceded the team was "too conservative" when bringing its tyres into a working window during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton finished only fourth having started on pole position, losing a chunk of time to second-placed Lando Norris after the first pit stop.

Seven-time champion Hamilton pitted earlier than the McLaren driver to attempt an undercut to begin the second stint, only to lose six seconds of race time by the time Norris pitted a lap later.

The W14 was faster at the end of each stint, however, with Hamilton narrowly missing out on third when chasing down Red Bull's Sergio Perez in the closing stages.

"We were too careful in bringing the tyres in after the stops," said Wolff, speaking to media including RacingNews365.

"We lost a lot of time - it paid off towards the end of the stint because we were miles quicker than everybody else, but it is always a balance.

"The balance was a little bit too much on bringing them in [slowly].

"To strike that balance right is really difficult because you can see if you hammer them like Lando did, Oscar [Piastri, Norris' McLaren teammate] did and also Checo did, then at the end you just fall off massively.

"So bringing them in when you can is definitely advantageous, but probably we were too conservative - we lost too much time."

Need to analyse

Despite the lack of a podium, Mercedes extended its advantage in the race for second in the Constructors' standings by finishing with both cars above both Ferraris and both Aston Martins.

George Russell made his way to sixth from 18th on the grid and Wolff insisted: "We were the second-quickest car but the result doesn't show it.

"In theory, we had the second-quickest car but we didn't capitalise on it and that is disappointing and we have got to find out how we can do better.

"We saw George come back from a long way down, beating the Aston Martins, beating the Ferraris, so we just need to analyse."

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3