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Mercedes

Wolff explains how Hamilton tyre situation should have been handled

Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton would have been battling with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc for P3 in Turkey had Mercedes brought him in for an earlier pit-stop.

Hamilton Turkey rain
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To news overview © Mercedes

Toto Wolff admits Mercedes didn't make the right call in terms of pitting Lewis Hamilton when they did during the Turkish Grand Prix, as a conservative approach would have probably delivered a better result for the team.

Mercedes pitted Hamilton for fresh Intermediates on Lap 50, with the decision proving to be too late given he spent the rest of the race battling graining issues.

As a result, Hamilton had to settle for P5, meaning Red Bull rival Max Verstappen once again sits atop the Drivers' Championship.

Wolff admits that with hindsight, the team would have done things differently.

"The correct call would have probably been taking it very conservative and pitting when everybody pitted for the Intermediates, coming out behind [Sergio] Perez, probably behind [Charles] Leclerc, and then fighting with them on track for P3," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"That would have probably been the correct [decision], but this is all in hindsight after the race.

"The Intermediate obviously looked really scary, but we thought that we could maybe hang out there, and finish third without stopping. Or, if a dry line appears, maybe even going on to a Soft tyre until the end.

"We balanced between pitting, taking it very conservative and fighting with Leclerc and Paris on the track for P3, or taking a little bit of a gamble and either winning or finishing third.

"Then we saw the Leclerc dropping off, and then Lewis started dropping off, so it was clear we wouldn't make it to the end."

Mercedes initially called Hamilton in earlier, though he went against the team's instructions and stayed out. Wolff says pitting at that time likely would have helped Hamilton in the end.

"It would have been better than where we have ended up at the end, but I think, again, it was measured," Wolff added.

"Obviously, if you're in the car, he didn't see how much he was dropping off in that time. He also didn't see Leclerc dropping off, and it was clear that if we stayed out, we would have lost out to [Pierre] Gasly."

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