Wolff explains Mercedes' confusion over late Hamilton Hungarian GP pitstop

Toto Wolff says the Mercedes Formula 1 team can learn from the "confusion" in planning a late pitstop for Lewis Hamilton en route to victory in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix

Wolff explains Mercedes' confusion over late Hamilton Hungarian GP pitstop

Hamilton dominated proceedings at the Hungaroring to score his eighth win at the circuit, enjoying an advantage of more than 20 seconds over Max Verstappen entering the closing stages of the race.

Mercedes confirmed to Hamilton with 10 laps to go it was planning a third and final pitstop thanks to his buffer to Verstappen that would allow him to retain the lead.

An initial plan to stop for hard compound tyres was scrapped before a switch to softs was also called off, with Hamilton being told to "standby" for a decision by race engineer Pete Bonnington.

Hamilton ultimately pitted at the end of lap 66 to take a fresh set of soft tyres, allowing him to set the fastest lap of the race and score the additional bonus point.

Asked by Autosport about the indecision on the pitwall, Wolff explained the team had changed its plan about taking a late stop since the morning.

"Our communication was not great around that," Wolff conceded.

"In the morning we agreed that we wouldn't pit for a quickest lap, that it was bearing too much risk.

"The call to pit around lap 60 to protect against the safety car certainly would have been the right call, but then the gap was never quite comfortable enough. It was a second or two, then 2.5, then we hit backmarker traffic.

"Then obviously we communicated with Lewis, so at the end it was a bit of confusion, and four laps to the end he pitted to score the fastest lap.

"I think there's a lot to learn from the intercom conversation that we had in the garage, and the communication to the driver.

"[It was] certainly not 1A, but at the end the result counts."

Hamilton was grateful for the opportunity to try and claim the fastest lap bonus point, saying he had earned the chance to go for it by building such a gap.

"We have to weigh up the risks. I didn't push so much that I was going to make a mistake and go off, so it was a fully controlled lap," Hamilton said.

"I've lost a world championship in the past by one point, so I know how crucial it is to maximise on every moment.

"We're in a year where we don't know what reliability is going to be like, we don't know how long the season is going to be.

"Valtteri [Bottas] had a great first race. At the time he had the fastest lap, I had the gap, and felt that it was necessary to get that point, particularly as I felt like I'd earned the gap that I had.

"Things like the extra pitstop, coming in, all these things do add to the risk factors. But we're a professional team.

"I believe it was the right decision to make."

shares
comments
F1 Hungarian GP: Verstappen "redeemed himself" after pre-race crash
Previous article

F1 Hungarian GP: Verstappen "redeemed himself" after pre-race crash

Next article

Hamilton says F1 must do "a better job" after rushed pre-Hungarian GP kneel

Hamilton says F1 must do "a better job" after rushed pre-Hungarian GP kneel
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021