Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton cost Nico Rosberg the chance of victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
With Rosberg – on soft tyres – closing in on Hamilton – on mediums – Mercedes asked Hamilton to move over as Rosberg still had another pit stop to make. Hamilton defied the call and was fighting for victory with Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso, ultimately finishing third with Rosberg a close fourth.
With Rosberg crossing the line 6.3s behind race winner Ricciardo, Wolff said the opportunity was there for him to win but conceded the team has to work out if it made the right decision.
“That was such a difficult race with so many difficult decisions that needed to be made, quick decisions, and we need to analyse how we ended up there and whether from here we need to discuss the racing between the two,” Wolff said. “It is getting intense and it is clear that they are direct competitors for the world championship. We need to sit down and discuss it.
“We don't know whether Nico was quick enough to pull the gap to win the race. It is a difficult situation now. If Lewis had let Nico go, Nico could have won the race. We needed to split the strategies because we didn't know how the race was going to go.”
Wolff added that he hadn't intervened over the radio because he felt it could be time for Mercedes to change its approach to the races with no team likely to challenge its supremacy this season.
“I don't want to play the vicious general and demand that they obey the rules. I could have gone on the radio or Paddy [Lowe] could but we didn't. Maybe what we decided at the beginning of the season doesn't function anymore but we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their own championship chances for the benefit of the team.”