Lewis Hamilton: Toto Wolff explains thinking behind Briton's late pit-stop in Turkey


Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has explained the thought processes that were going on that led to Lewis Hamilton pitting towards the end of Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

The F1 title race has swung once more with Max Verstappen now back on top of the standings with Hamilton coming home in fifth place at Istanbul Park.

At one point, he ran as high as third, just behind Verstappen in second, and was clearly tempted to try and bring the car home in that position on very-worn intermediate tyres.

Indeed, Mercedes seemed initially willing to go along with that call but with the tyre data they had their concerns overruled in the end, with them calling Hamilton in and seeing him drop to fifth place - something he was audibly displeased at over the radio in the final laps.

Wolff, though, has explained that in the end, they had to bring in Hamilton because the way his tyres were going the risk was increasing that he'd suffer a blowout before the chequered flag:

"It is quite interesting because the intermediate looked really scary," explained Wolff.

"But we thought we could maybe hang out there and finish third with not stopping, or maybe if a dry line appeared, we could go onto a soft tyre until the end.

"We balanced between pitting and taking it very conservative and fighting with Leclerc and Perez on track for P3, or taking a little bit of a gamble and either winning or finishing third.


"Then we saw Leclerc dropping off and then Lewis dropping off and then it was clear we would not make it to the end."

Clearly, Mercedes were hedging their bets as much as they could as if a dry line had emerged for slick tyres the race win could have been on, whilst Hamilton also felt he could come home in P3.

In the end, though, they clearly thought about the long game and thought it safest to cut their losses and still bag points with fresh tyres, and we'll just see what impact that has when the final standings come about.

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