Wolff Strongly Defends Mercedes’ Bizarre Decision Costing Hamilton F1 Win at Hungary

Published 08/01/2021, 1:01 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIa: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff on stage for the F1 Live event during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


As the Hungarian Grand Prix kicked off at the Hungaroring, most of the drivers on the grid had fitted intermediate tires to have better grip on the wet track. However, drama ensued as soon as the lights went out, and fans saw four of the drivers knocked out of the race. This caused the session to get red-flagged.

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But before the restart, the track dried up, while others changed their tires, race leader Lewis Hamilton stayed put and started the race all alone on the grid. However, this decision soon came to bite him back, as just a lap after he came back to switch tires, which saw him lose the lead of the race.

Despite the outcome, team principal Toto Wolff has no regrets about not calling the seven-time world champion back in the pits. Even though this strategy cost them a win, they’ll be content with the P3 finish that saw them retake the lead in both championships.

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Toto Wolff has no regrets about Hamilton not switch tire sets during the restart

The restart gave the opportunity to all the drivers on the grid to pit and change their intermediate tires. However, instead of following the rest of the crowd, Hamilton was waiting on the starting grid. But as soon as the lights went out for the second time, he quickly realized his mistake.

He pushed the limits of his W12 around the Hungaroring to make it back to the Mercedes garage as quickly as possible.

Speaking of this incident, Wolff said, “No with the sun it dried up so quickly… within a lap, actually, it was dry and these things can happen.

“I stand absolutely behind the decision to stay out and that’s why I’m fine.”

“I think we could have gambled, as a leading car, in common in with also a disastrous outcome, and then if that would happen, people would have said that we have done a mistake. So that was the right decision,” Wolff concluded.

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How does this race affect Lewis’s championship hopes?

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The Knight started on pole position, which gave him hopes of taking the chequered flag from start to finish. However, due to a botched strategy, the Mercedes driver had to settle for third place, after fighting his way up the grid.

However, Hamilton must be looking at the brighter side of things; he finds himself leading the title race, after picking fifteen points with a P3 finish.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton qualifies in pole position Pool via REUTERS/David W Cerny

However, the Brit is well aware he will need to be more careful as he prepares himself for the Belgium GP after the summer break. His archrival, Max Verstappen, will head into his home race (technically) re-energized and hungry for wins. Moreover, Hamilton only has a six point lead over the Dutchman, so it won’t take much for the standings to shuffle again.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Can’t Hit Anybody” – Jeremy Clarkson Trolls Lewis Hamilton After Bizarre Hungarian GP Restart

about 2 months ago

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Arpit Gomes

856 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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