Malaysian GP: Mercedes' Wolff says problem was pace not strategy

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff thinks it would be wrong to blame his team's Malaysian Grand Prix defeat on the early stop for new tyres under the safety car

Malaysian GP: Mercedes' Wolff says problem was pace not strategy

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were powerless to prevent Sebastian Vettel taking his first win for Ferrari on a day when their rival was faster.

But although the early stop to change tyres did not help, Mercedes insists that was not key to it losing the race.

"It is always easy afterwards to regret and say in hindsight we could have done this or that better, but we are taking these decisions together," said Wolff.

"We haven't done any strategic mistakes in the last two years and this is why it doesn't make sense to point the finger to a single event.

"We need to find out why we were struggling for long-run pace in these hot conditions because I think that is the main point to look at."

Wolff concurs with Vettel's belief that warm temperatures hampered Mercedes' form - although other factors were not up to scratch either, which left its drivers frustrated over the radio.

"I think that was a complicated race to read from the drivers' perspective," Wolff said.

"There were so many stops, your main competitors came out behind and then in front, and you need to lap cars, and you lose track.

"We weren't particularly good on radio messaging today. We had a couple of weird calls.

"Lots of action on the radio internally is something we need to look at.

"I guess if you see you are not able to catch up, there is a certain frustration that grows on you."

He said there was "no panic" at Mercedes but admitted the team had not been able to "control" the grand prix as has become its habit.

"We had a new situation that we haven't had for a while in that we were not in control of things," Wolff said.

"We had new information which was different from what we assessed over the weekend.

"Today things didn't pan out the way we expected them to pan out.

"It is not one particular thing; it is a couple of things we can improve.

"It is clear the winning streak was not going to go on forever, but today we were beaten fair and square."

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