Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Ferrari hamstrung themselves by not holding a brand new set of medium tyres obtainable for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ferrari made the shocking determination to change Charles Leclerc onto the arduous tyres through the race, regardless of a warning from the likes of Alpine who struggled in a serious approach on that compound.
Leclerc met an identical destiny, powerless to defend towards Max Verstappen and George Russell on the arduous rubber, resulting in Ferrari calling him in for a 3rd pit-stop and a swap to comfortable tyres.
That left Leclerc down in P6, the place the place he completed the race, having seemed a powerful contender for the win at one stage.
Requested by Sky Sports activities F1 if Mercedes had been left scratching their heads when Ferrari put Leclerc onto the arduous tyres, Wolff replied: “I feel they’d no choice. That they had solely arduous and comfortable left and for the comfortable it was too early. So solely the arduous.
“I feel the error occurred Friday, or Saturday, to not carry over a brand new medium.”
The choice actually helped Mercedes’ trigger although, Lewis Hamilton going from P7 on the grid to complete P2, whereas Russell crossed the road P3 to make it consecutive double podium outcomes for the crew.
Hamilton stated if it had not been for a DRS failure in qualifying, which left him beginning P7, he felt the tempo was there for him to problem for victory.
That may be a perception Wolff shares.
“To begin with, one should say George had an ideal qualifying session with pole and drove an excellent strong race,” stated Wolff. “However he was at all times in that struggle and subsequently you’re utilising the tyres, you’re leaning on it lots.
“After which he ran a little bit bit out of tyres within the second stint.
“However the place Lewis got here from is unbelievable. He was a little bit bit within the shadow, no person actually checked out him the place he got here from, and abruptly he was banging in occasions faster than the leaders.
“And I feel in qualifying if we wouldn’t have failed the DRS yesterday, I feel we might have had a enjoyable struggle on the entrance for victory.”
Hamilton initially had observe place over Verstappen, however Pink Bull pulled off a profitable undercut to get the Dutchman out forward of Hamilton when he stopped three laps later.
Requested why Mercedes had not moved to cowl off that technique, Wolff stated: “At that time they merely took a giant threat, or they took the danger to undercut us and to go very early on the tyre.
“It wasn’t but clear whether or not it was a one-stop or two-stop and for us it was simply just too early they usually gambled, they took the danger, and on the finish the tyre lives have been prolonged greater than we thought.”
It’s a double podium 🤩🏁
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It was then identified to Wolff that Russell had successfully mirrored Verstappen’s technique, but he completed over 12 seconds behind the Pink Bull driver regardless of ranging from pole, whereas Verstappen launched from P10.
Wolff, although, stated this merely exhibits the extent Verstappen and Pink Bull are working at.
“I feel you should acknowledge Max within the Pink Bull is simply merely, in the intervening time – I feel additionally Charles with the Ferrari – forward of all people else,” he stated. “I don’t understand how a lot at present.
“And I feel with Lewis and Budapest, that’s a hit story. And I feel we misplaced that race with him yesterday.”
Nonetheless, Mercedes actually delivered their strongest displaying in qualifying and race trim of the season to this point in Hungary, an encouraging signal as they head into the summer season break earlier than returning to motion in Belgium.
Wolff, although, is eager for the crew to not get forward of themselves simply but.
“Not less than we’ve got a outcome we are able to work with,” stated Wolff. “We had a very dangerous Friday, so we all know what to not do. So we’ll do the other.
“However Spa may be very completely different. So let’s not have fun but that we’re there as a result of we aren’t but.”