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Wolff says "aggressive strategy" set up Hamilton win

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Wolff says "aggressive strategy" set up Hamilton win
By:
May 29, 2016, 4:07 PM

Toto Wolff says that Mercedes' "aggressive" decision to switch straight from full wet to dry tyres was the key to Lewis Hamilton's Monaco Grand Prix win.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director on the grid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 on the drivers parade
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

Hamilton first moved into the lead when Daniel Ricciardo pitted from first to switch from wets to intermediate tyres.

But instead of following suit, Hamilton chose to stay on the tarmac until the track had become dry enough to gamble on switching directly to slicks, the Briton switching to fresh ultrasofts on Lap 31.

The reigning champion then emerged ahead of Ricciardo as Red Bull fumbled his second pitstop.

“We had a really aggressive strategy, which we discussed for a long time,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “We had time to eat up – we gambled.

“The gamble worked, and then the mishap of the Red Bull boys and Lewis’ superb drive gave us the win. It’s just what we needed."

Wolff explained that the discussion to go straight from full wets to slicks was a joint decision between Hamilton and the team of Mercedes engineers.

“There was a discussion on the pitwall, how long we thought the tyre would last,” said Wolff. “[Hamilton] gave us feedback on how he saw the track, in the end it was a team decision.”

Rosberg struggles

While Hamilton had the speed to fend off Ricciardo to the chequered flag, championship leader Nico Rosberg endured a difficult race as he finished only seventh from his grid slot of second.

The German let Hamilton past during the opening stages as Ricciardo raced to an early lead.

“On both cars we lacked pace, we didn’t get the temperature into the window we needed,” said Wolff.

“Every time the race restarted you saw we didn’t have the pace of Ricciardo, and it looked like Nico suffered more than Lewis.

“Very much a great team play from Nico because he saw he was lacking pace, more than usual. He was holding him [Hamilton] very badly, he let him by.”

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