May 24 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Lewis Hamilton is right to be “angry” after Mercedes cost him the Monaco win.
That was the admission of team boss Toto Wolff after a catastrophic strategic mistake in the dying laps of Sunday’s race through the fabled streets.
Days after re-signing with the German giant, Hamilton was cruising to victory when Max Verstappen’s huge crash brought out the safety car.
“Lewis said his tyre temperatures had plummeted and he had no grip,” Wolff told Austrian television ORF.
“I’m sorry to him that we messed it up. It was the wrong decision (to pit him),” he said.
When Hamilton re-emerged from the pits, his big gap had not only vanished, but teammate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel passed him.
Instead of an easy win, the Briton finished third.
“I can’t express how I feel right now so I won’t attempt to,” the visibly and audibly gutted 30-year-old said.
Team chairman Niki Lauda called the strategists’ bad decision “unacceptable”.
“I have already apologised to Lewis’ engineers. I have told Toto that he has to analyse the situation thoroughly,” said the F1 legend.
Mercedes engineers and management even began that process quite openly, as their animated discussion was watched through Monaco’s unique pitlane windows by the world’s media.
“We can only apologise, apologise and apologise again,” Wolff told reporters.
“We calculated the gaps wrong. It was Lewis’ victory. And he has every reason to be angry.”