Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says Red Bull were "faultless" at the Dutch Grand Prix as Max Verstappen claimed victory on home soil to retake the lead in the Drivers' Championship.
Verstappen strategically covered Lewis Hamilton throughout an intense race at Zandvoort to win for a seventh time in 2021.
"When you have the quickest car on track, whatever you try on strategy is difficult," Wolff told Sky Sports. "Credit to Max, credit to Red Bull, they were really faultless today.
"It's so close together and here Max was the quickest. It's his home track, but Monza is going to maybe be a different environment and we believe we're in the running for the championship."
One of Hamilton's best opportunities to get ahead of Verstappen came in the middle phase of the race. It was clear early on that both of the championship protagonists were on a two-stop strategy.
At the second pit-stops, Hamilton attempted to undercut Verstappen but came out in traffic. Mercedes also opted to use the Medium tyre compound, whilst Verstappen ran the Hard tyres during the final stint.
Wolff says the team thought the Hard tyre was a slight gamble due to the lack of running on Pirelli's white-marked compound this weekend.
"I think we had a sniff of an undercut so we didn't time it right there," said Wolff. "We didn't expect them [Red Bull] to go onto the hard tyre because it was an unknown and we didn't try the Hard tyre on Friday.
"The Hard tyre was a bit of a gamble because you could see that on the Ferraris that it was going well, but it was unknown territory."