Mercedes explains Bottas/Hamilton Singapore "misunderstanding"

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff has explained that a "miscommunication" caused Lewis Hamilton to hinder team-mate Valtteri Bottas's Q3 attempt in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix

Mercedes explains Bottas/Hamilton Singapore "misunderstanding"

Mercedes' known weakness in warming its tyres at the Marina Bay Circuit means the team ran at a higher outlap pace than its rivals.

As Bottas built up to his Q3 run - finding a gap and maintaining speed - he was unexpectedly passed by Hamilton, compromising Bottas who would go on to qualify in fifth.

Bottas then said Mercedes had discussed the incident in its post-qualifying debrief and Wolff has now explained how the situation unfolded.

"I think the outlap incident is something that was due to a miscommunication and is something we need to manage better in the future," said Wolff.

"The miscommunication was that Valtteri was held up by [Alex] Albon, that Lewis didn't see.

"Lewis was thinking that Valtteri was doing a slow outlap and Lewis felt that a quick outlap would suit him better, and that's why he went for the gap, which is not how we've done it in the past.

"We talked about it immediately afterwards, and everything's OK, it's all in a good place. That had no effect on the race. I think there were many more powerful things that went wrong this weekend."

Bottas also suffered during the Singapore Grand Prix when he was instructed to back off in order to avoid undercutting team-mate Hamilton as Mercedes tried to react to Ferrari's control of the race by giving Hamilton a longer first stint.

The strategy would ultimately fail as Hamilton finished fourth ahead of Bottas.

Bottas, who will visit the Mercedes factory on Tuesday, says Mercedes can learn lessons from its qualifying mishap.

Asked if Mercedes needed to change its qualifying procedures, Bottas said: "Well we have a clear procedure and I was supposed to be ahead, but it didn't happen.

"I think maybe there is something we can learn - if one of us wants to do [something different]," he said.

"It's still something that is quite tricky, and I guess we'll see in the future how it goes.

"But we have clear rules for that and that didn't go as planned.

"Every qualifying is so different, and sometimes there is no issue at all to get the tyres to work - sometimes you actually want the tow.

"But it's a special track [in Singapore] where you just want as big a gap as possible to the car ahead.

"There's not much I can say about that."

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