Toto Wolff says he and Mercedes will take the blame for the call to bring Lewis Hamilton into the pit-lane for a change of tyres in the closing stages of the Monaco Grand Prix, an erroneous move that cost him an almost certain victory.

The defending champion led from the start and had built up a lead of 16secs when the safety car was called with 16 laps remaining to clear the wreckage of Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso at turn one.

Though several drivers further down the order took a strategic punt on fitting fresher super-soft tyres, Hamilton also came into the pit-lane despite his track advantage. It was a call that would prove his undoing, Hamilton returning to the track behind Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel after they stayed out.

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Failing to get by in the final eight laps of racing, Hamilton was left third at the chequered flag. Though visibly distraught at the end result having otherwise dominated, a calm Hamilton insists the team 'win and lose together'.

It is a sentiment that Wolff also emphasised, but he admits a 'miscalculation' by the team ultimately means it was their fault.

"The simple question is we got the math wrong, the calculation wrong," he said. "We thought we had a gap which we didn't have when the safety car came out and Lewis was behind the safety car. The calculation was simply wrong and that's what happened.

"That one was on the team and I apologised and that's probably the only thing you can do. He is a great leader and a great driver and I am sure that he will understand that sometimes we make errors and this was such a situation."

Blaming the decision on 'following the data', Wolff says in hindsight it was a 'risk' to pit Hamilton when it did.

"The potential risk could have been that Sebastian would switch on to a soft tyre behind us and coming up behind Nico, it could have been a risk at the end," he continued. "Now, let's say, very simply from a common sense overview disregarding the data ... we have to follow the data. This is how the squad works, but I agree it looks like a risk. The simple answer is that the numbers were wrong."


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I'm sure in any other sport, Mercedes would be called to the governing body to explain that decision, it was clearly a fix, no other reasons.