Wolff stands by decision to not pit Hamilton before F1 restart

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff believes it was "100% the right decision" for Lewis Hamilton to take the standing restart in Hungary and not pit for slick tyres.

Listen to this article

Rain showers in the lead up to lights out meant the entire field started the race on intermediate tyres, but the track dried out under the red flag thrown following the clashes at Turn 1.

While the field left the pitlane on intermediates, the track dried out so quickly that 14 of the 15 cars came immediately into the pits to take on a set of slick tyres.

It resulted in a bizarre situation where Hamilton was left alone on the grid for the standing restart as the lights went out. Hamilton then pitted at the end of the lap for slicks, causing him to drop to last place.

Mercedes F1 boss Wolff joked that it was "a bit lonely" for Hamilton on the grid, but explained that it was the right call as he would have dropped back a few places anyway due to the train of cars passing through the pitlane.

"I think [it was] 100% the right decision, and I stand by it," Wolff said. "At the end, you need to make the call out there and judge whether it's dry enough or not. I thought that within one lap, it couldn't possibly dry up like it did, and at the end, you have to take it on the chin that it was the wrong outcome.

"But the decision was right. We calculated that he would have come out sixth with the train of cars going into the pits. Now you are more clever, but it is what it is."

Read Also:

While Hamilton was able to recover to third place, he could not maximise a difficult day for title rival Max Verstappen, who only finished 10th after his car was damaged at Turn 1.

Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel had sat second and third behind Hamilton under the red flag, and finished the race first and second after leading the cars into the pit lane to take slicks.

Wolff denied that the call could be deemed an error by Mercedes, stressing that he stood "100%" by the decision and that Hamilton could have won the race regardless, had he not lost so much time behind Fernando Alonso.

"We could have won today," Wolff said. "We lost a lot of time behind Fernando, and that made Esteban win the race, and that is good."

While teams are not allowed to tell drivers to come into the pits for tyres on the formation lap - seen with Antonio Giovinazzi's own decision to gamble before the first lights out - they can do so for a standing restart.

shares
comments
Vettel reprimanded for not removing T-shirt before national anthem
Previous article

Vettel reprimanded for not removing T-shirt before national anthem

Next article

Red Bull fears another F1 engine loss after Perez's Hungary smash

Red Bull fears another F1 engine loss after Perez's Hungary smash
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022