Toto Wolff says he doesn't blame Lewis Hamilton for questioning the decision to switch Mercedes' tyre strategy during the Mexican Grand Prix having potentially sensed an opportunity to beat Nico Rosberg.
A week after wrapping up his third career world title, Hamilton struggled to challenge Rosberg at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but a mid-race change in strategy had the potential to turn the race on its head.
Indeed, Mercedes played it safe by pitting its cars for a second time in the knowledge it held a big enough gap over third regardless, but while Rosberg heeded the call, Hamilton questioned it.
Staying out an extra lap longer, Hamilton questioned the reasoning for the move, raising the suggestion he could defy the team order and attempt to go to the finish. Ordered to pit for 'safety reasons', Hamilton eventually relented.
Despite this, Wolff is satisfied that Hamilton wanted clarification on the reasons for the additional pit stop and doesn't blame him from asking
“The main focus of interest was around the decision to convert our one-stop strategy to a two-stopper. From our side, it was a simple precaution: after the first stint on the option tyre, we had seen higher than expected wear levels and one of Lewis' tyres was even down to 0 per cent rubber.
“The stint we were trying to do with the prime was already on the limit, and with that information in hand and a pit-stop gap to spare to the next car, it was the low-risk option to stop both cars again.
“Lewis obviously had a few questions about that and that's totally normal - race drivers have emotions and if they didn't focus on winning every time, they wouldn't be the talents they are. But we have the overview on the pit wall and Lewis followed the instruction to pit.”