Toto Wolff: “We got the maths wrong…”

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.”


Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

15 responses to “Toto Wolff: “We got the maths wrong…”

  1. Mick

    I’ve criticised Lewis many times in the past for forgetting that they ‘win together & lose together’ so I have to say he was totally professional today with his media reactions. Credit too to Nico for not rubbing his nose in it.

    Mercedes seem to have too many senior decision makers on the pit wall. They are miles away from where Ferrari used to be in the Ross Braun era on ability to make clever, instant decisions when an incident changes the race.

  2. LRM

    Agreed, Lewis, unlike the gold chains he wears ;-), handled an incredibly disappointing situation with World Champion style. He seems to sense this is his year again if he keeps his own emotions in check. Clearly he was dominating the race…

  3. Glen

    This supposed confusion over the size of the gap between the cars seems interesting. I could only watch the highlights, but just before Verstappen’s accident the gap from Hamilton to Rosberg was around 16 seconds. During the Virtual Safety Car I saw the gap flash up as 22 seconds. Were the timings wrong or did the gap really increase behind the VSC? Did this play a part in the decision to pit?

    Indeed, I’ve just checked the lap timings (I can’t find gaps) and on lap 64, behind the VSC, Hamilton was 6 seconds quicker than both Rosberg and Vettel. On lap 65, when Hamilton pitted, he was 28 seconds slower than Rosberg and Vettel when overall pit times were said to be ~20 seconds.

    It all seems a bit odd.

    • **Paul**

      Spot on Glen – though the gap was 19.3s when Max hit the wall – but you’re correct, the VSC looked like it allowed Hamilton to increase his lead because drivers aren’t limited between the two safety car lines (one prior to the pits the other on pit exit). Thus, when the team thought they had 25s odd, they actually didn’t because Nico and Seb had already pulled a lot of that back towards the initial pre-safety car gap.

      It’s easy to see why Merc got it wrong, especially when you fact in a driver who wasn’t happy with his tyres and mistakenly thought the folks behind had stopped having caught a glance of something on one of the large screens.

  4. GeorgeK

    I was looking forward to see Hamilton’s general demeanor after the race, unfortunately the U.S. TV coverage switched instantly to U.K. football coverage! WTF up with that????

    I’m glad to read that he took his team’s foul up in stride and Nico not rubbing it into his face. Hamilton’s post Q comments Saturday were slightly inflammatory and I’m glad Nico showed restraint.

    HOW this happened totally baffles me! Why in God’s name would they feel the need to pit with a handful of laps boggles the mind, regardless of gaps.
    Unless Lewis asked for new tires, if they were no longer able to sustain any grip at all????

    Totally baffling, one of the worst team decisions I can recall in recent memory. And it cost Hamilton a well earned victory.

  5. Leone

    I could swear I read a quote from Hamilton that he requested the pit stop. Now it’s being spun that it was the team’s decision? How is that so?

  6. John miiler

    The explanation doesn’t work. It could have been a sticky wheel nut that lost Hamilton the race – anything could have gone wrong. It seems more likely that, as AC implies, Hamilton was the instigator of the idea. In any event, you can’t imagine Vettel or Raikonnen obeying an order to pit in the same circumstances.

    So the reaction, win as a team, lose as a team is appropriate. If Hamilton wanted to pit, the team should have said “No” and if the team wanted to pit, Hamilton should have said “No”.

  7. Beflox

    Not sure what all this talk about Lewis’ mature attitude after the race was about. I watched him drive round at a snail’s pace on the slow down lap then ran the #3 marker board like a spoiled kid. At least no one bothered wasting time wondering if it was a conspiracy by Mercedes to help Rosberg anyway.

    Shame for Lewis. Livened up a dull race though.

    • Kgn11

      It’s called a slowdown lap for a reason, there’s no set time to get back to the pits. Those marker boards have been hit by everyone, even when they win, does that mean they’re acting like a petulant spoilt child? If Seb/Nico/Kimi et al were to hit the marker boarders in Canada next week, are you also going to label the petulant?

      What’s petulant is people looking for perfection from others and then criticise them if they show any sign off discuss at a difficult time. Grow up

      • **Paul**

        Lewis stopped on the cool down lap, which isn’t normal, possibly to speak to the team. He did then whack the #3 marker board, and although we know he’s less than accurate on those pitstop markers I think that was intentional and a sign of frustration on his part, given the force with which it was hit.

        What is pretty petulant though is not attending the team photo. The team scored a 1-3, he’s still got the most dominant car for at least 25 years in the sport, a team mate who’s pretty damn average and a championship lead.

      • Beflox

        What ARE you talking about?!!!

  8. GeorgeK

    Kgn11, you need to change your name to Lewiswalksonwater.

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