Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says the team got their strategy wrong at the Mexico Grand Prix, after starting both their cars on the Medium tyres and switching to the Hards during the pit stops. Wolff explains how Red Bull's Sergio Perez being the first of the leaders to pit for Mediums meant that Mercedes were pressured into covering him to preserve Hamilton's place on the podium. The team were banking on the Red Bull drivers having to pit again towards the end of the race, or for their tyres to lose performance, but both Max Verstappen and Perez managed to hold on until the end. "We were pressured with Lewis to do that [pit early]," he told Sky Sports F1 . "We didn't think that the medium would go until the end. "[It was] totally surprising the way Perez hammered the tyre and it was still holding on. So, we just got it wrong. "We discussed whether the Soft-Hard [combination] was a viable one-stop strategy and we thought it's never going to go [that far], so the Soft-Medium wasn't even on the radar."
Wolff: Soft tyre performance not a given at the end
With many drivers opting to run the Hard or Medium tyres in the second half of the race, McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was able to demonstrate the pace and longevity of the Soft-compound tyres. Ricciardo was able to progress from outside of the top ten after his final stop and finish in P7 - even after picking up a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda. Mercedes looked at starting on the Soft tyre, but neither Hamilton or Russell had a new set to use at the end, like Ricciardo. "We felt it [Soft tyre] was strong when we discussed it this morning, but not strong enough to really go 30 laps," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com . "It could have been [a case of] just lose more time on the Medium and hang it out there for another five, six laps, and then try to do 30 laps on the Soft. "But also, that was not a given that it would hold on. With Ricciardo, you could see that it was possible."