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Toto Wolff

Wolff explains Mercedes error in key Hamilton call

Lewis Hamilton attempted to undercut Max Verstappen in the Monaco Grand Prix, but was not able to make the strategy work.

Hamilton race Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff has cleared up the "miscommunication" from Mercedes around Lewis Hamilton's pit-stop in the Monaco Grand Prix. 

Hamilton dived for the pits on Lap 51 of 78 in Monte Carlo, attempting to undecut Max Verstappen with fresh Pirelli tyres proving powerful as both drivers were on the mediums they fitted under the first lap red flag.

Verstappen covered Hamilton off on the next tour with the two going onto finish in sixth and seventh - the first time since 2017 neither have finished on the podium in the Principality.

However, on his hard tyres, Hamilton was told to "push" by engineer Peter Bonnington, but that it was "out-lap normal and the time should come to you."

After Verstappen re-joined ahead, Hamilton asked why he was not told the out-lap was 'critical' to successfully make the undercut work, as Wolff admitted the pit-wall had got it "wrong."

"It was a miscommunication first between us on the pit-wall that we got that wrong," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

"It should have been an 'out-lap critical [message, we are] trying to undercut', but then there was a debate whether any out-lap would be enough from the new tyre.

"So the message he got was at best confusing, but probably wrong."

Hamilton had closed to within a second-and-a-half of Verstappen before the stop, with fresh tyres proving to be nearly two seconds a lap faster at times, although Mercedes did not call in George Russell from fifth. 

Russell was able to nurse his medium tyres all 77 laps of the restarted race, holding off late pressure from Verstappen, as Wolff detailed the concerns that prevented the 'critical' message being told to Hamilton.

"It should have been an out-lap critical [message] but the worry in the background was that if we thrashed that tyre in a single lap, then [we were concerned about] what would happen later," he said.

"But in summary, it was the wrong message to Lewis, this was the team's fault.

"We wanted to be close to Verstappen and then do the undercut, [but] obviously we got the messaging completely wrong."

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