Mercedes manager Toto Wolff says data gleaned in the tyres of Valtteri Bottas invited it to allow Lewis Hamilton conduct a more middle stint from the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Finally the plan guaranteed that Hamilton got before Bottas to maintain second place at a late race conflict, but both Mercedes drivers dropped out to Max Verstappen who employed the alternate strategy to bill to success for Red Bull.
Since the major W11 on the street, Bottas was granted priority in the stops and following a stint on the tricky tyre he left his second stop on lap 32.
Rather than coming at a lap later – as was the situation at the very first round of stops – Hamilton took his tough tyres all of the way to lap 41, and at one point the reigning Formula 1 world champion had been hoping he could get to the chequered flag without another stop.
Wolff claims that the team managed to analyze the tyres which came from the automobile of Bottas, and having determined that there was still some life in them left the phone to depart Hamilton out to as long as possible.
Following the race Bottas explained that his group was”sleeping” on plan, a proposal that Wolff refuted.
“I only spoke to Valtteri,” Wolff said when asked about his driver’s remarks. “I really don’t believe we had been sleeping, but I take his perspective. I believe we only had the slower car now, and we only admit that.
“His purpose was if we have done the contrary to Max. As a matter of fact, this would not have changed anything, since Max could have come out with a new tyre, and we’d have continued using a tyre that was not in the ideal nation no longer, and that he simply pitted facing us. So not sure exactly what we might have done much better.
“Clearly he is not at a happy place he had been P2 and Lewis was P3, but it was that the understanding which occurred when we obtained Valtteri’s tyre in, we noticed that there was really a great deal of rubber left, and we stretched Lewis’s stint, albeit there were large vibrations but a great deal of rubber.
“Consequently, he had been getting quicker and faster, the further the rubber moved , and that’s precisely why we can extend the stint, and finally Lewis overtook Valtteri. It is clear he is not happy, and that I completely respect that. None of us are pleased now with the outcome.”
Wolff insisted that a combination of factors had contributed to Mercedes fighting all the tyres from the race.
“I believe we had signs before that our relative gap wasn’t too big to our opponents as it was sexy,” he explained. “it is a small bit simplistic to simply say it is sexier.
“It boils down to the simple fact that we’ve got a car with higher downforce, and of course when circumstances vary, parameters shift, such as temperatures moving up, chemicals becoming softer, pressures moving up, we must acknowledge the Red Bull is a fairly quick car, and that is what we have observed now.
“We’ve got nowadays previously, and came out stronger, and I am actually looking forward to Barcelona.
“We’ve got a small number of times to check, produce solutions, examine them on the Friday at Barcelona, and then finally have a much better race Sunday. These times where we shed will be the times where we understand that the most.”