Toto Wolff said the German Grand Prix felt like a one-two result for Mercedes despite Lewis Hamilton finishing third.

Hamilton started from 20th on the grid after a crash in qualifying and a penalty for a gearbox change, but climbed through the field to finish third, with Valtteri Bottas holding him off in the fight for second in the closing laps. While Wolff acknowledged Hamilton will be disappointed not to gain an extra place, he said the result was a big one for the team following the starting positions.

"I know it doesn't feel like it for Lewis because he's very competitive, but for me it feels like a one-two because he was coming from P20," Wolff said. "Recovering to where he did, considering that it was some difficult early laps; it wasn't like making five, six or seven positions in lap one, he was working really hard to get back to the front.

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"How close was it? I think the misunderstanding with Jenson [Button] cost him quite some lap time, we were quite down on downforce from the front wing. Then at the end with strategy going back to the option tyre we knew that the window was very narrow where the pace in that tyre was really good and Valtteri was just coldblooded at the end and defended where he needed to defend."

Wolff confirmed Mercedes had pit Hamilton early for a final time expecting a safety car but was not critical of the decision to recover Adrian Sutil's Sauber under double waved yellow flags.

"It wouldn't have changed a big deal for Lewis, so bringing him I think was the right strategy call. It would have looked like bringing out a safety car but I think this was maybe the new Formula One and letting people race, not influencing too much on the race result. This is why the safety car didn't come out."