Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks his team was right to gamble on trying to get Lewis Hamilton through Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix on a single set of inters.

Wolff: Mercedes F1 gamble on old inters was worth it

The world champion had made a strong recovery from 11th on the grid to run fifth behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during the midpoint of the race.

But as a number of cars ahead of him pitted for fresh inters, Hamilton joined Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in electing to try to stick it out until the end without a change.

Although that decision cost both drivers when it became clear that the inters were not going to last, Wolff thinks that Mercedes made the right approach in pushing for what could have been a much better result.

“The intermediate obviously looked really scary but we thought that we could maybe hang out there and finish third with not stopping,” Wolff told Sky F1.

“And, if a dry line appeared, maybe even going onto a soft tyre until the end. So we balanced between pitting, taking it very conservative in fighting with Leclerc and Perez on the track for P3, or taking a little bit of a gamble but either winning or finishing third.

“But when we saw Leclerc dropping off and then Lewis started dropping off, it was clear we wouldn't make it to the end.”

Despite the later than ideal pitstop dropping Hamilton behind Perez and Leclerc, Wolff thinks that it was worth his team trying to go for something better – and said there would be no finger pointing at his strategists about points that were potentially lost.

“We've never had any problems, and there is plenty of time to debate it here and on the flight,” he said. “But it's clear in the car you just have a limited amount of information and overall I think that was worth the try today.”

Wolff accepts that with hindsight a better option would have been to stop earlier – potentially when the idea was first discussed between the pitwall and Hamilton.

“The correct call would have probably been taking it very conservative and pitting when everybody pitted for the intermediate, coming out behind Perez, probably behind Leclerc, and then fighting with them on track for P3,” he said.

“That would have probably been the correct choice, but this is only with hindsight after the race.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton explains why Mercedes F1 tyre call left him 'frustrated'
Previous article

Hamilton explains why Mercedes F1 tyre call left him 'frustrated'

Next article

Mazepin: “Driving blind” in dirty spray caused near-miss with Hamilton

Mazepin: “Driving blind” in dirty spray caused near-miss with Hamilton
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022