Mercedes has admitted that it simply got it wrong when it brought Lewis Hamilton in for a late pit stop in Monaco, handing the win to team mate Nico Rosberg.
The situation developed after Max Verstappen’s accident triggered a safety car, which was quickly changed into a real safety car.
Watching a big TV screen, Hamilton thought that his pursuers Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel had pitted behind him, when it fact they hadn’t. Assuming that they would have fresh rubber and be right with him at the restart he expressed his concerns about his own tyres to the team.
The strategists were guided by data that told them there was a big enough gap for Lewis to pit and get out still safely in front, but the numbers were wrong by a few seconds – and that proved to be the crucial difference for Lewis.
“The simple answer is we got the maths wrong,” said Toto Wolff. “We thought we had a gap which we didn’t have when the safety car came out, and Lewis was behind the safety car and the calculation was simply wrong.
“It was the team’s decision. We are all in this together, we make decisions together and it is not one person to blame and we win and lose together and that is clear. In Monaco you have no GPS and this makes the whole exercise more difficult, so this is why we got it wrong when we switched from the virtual safety car to the safety car.”