Mercedes failed to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a pit stop during the Virtual Safety Car period because it was too slow to react to it being deployed, according to team principal Toto Wolff.
The VSC was triggered after the team’s other car retired from second place. The team was figuring out the ramifications of Valtteri Bottas’s stoppage on Hamilton’s strategy when the VSC was triggered.
“The VSC came out, we had half a lap to react and we didn’t. Fact. This is where we lost the race.”
Hamilton’s closest rivals all pitted immediately under the Safety Car.
“At that stage of the race with the VSC pitting is probably the 80% thing you need to do,” said Wolff.
“With one car out there against two others there was the thinking process that happened is what would happen if the others would split the cars? If we pit Lewis we would come out behind Kimi, if they would leave Kimi out, then behind Max. What would that mean for the race?
“And that whole thinking loop… I wouldn’t say distracted us but that thinking loop, we spent too much time on.”
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