Toto Wolff admits Mercedes “got that wrong” with Lewis Hamilton out-lap call

Toto Wolff says Mercedes got their communication "wrong" with Lewis Hamilton during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15 makes a pit stop. Formula 1 World…

Toto Wolff has admitted Mercedes should have told Lewis Hamilton to push harder on his out-lap in a bid to undercut Max Verstappen in the F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion and Verstappen were among the drivers who opted to make a pit stop during the race after a first-lap red flag allowed the field to swap tyres and therefore no longer be required to make a mandatory stop.

Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 51 in an attempt to leapfrog Verstappen into sixth place, but he remained behind the Dutchman when he pitted a lap later as Red Bull responded to Mercedes.

Hamilton expressed frustration towards Mercedes for not telling him to pick up his pace sooner in his unsuccessful bid to get ahead of his former title rival.

“There was a miscommunication first between us on the pitwall that we got that wrong,” Wolff explained.

“It should have been ‘out-lap’ critical, trying to undercut. But then there was a debate whether any out-lap would be enough from the new tyre.

“So the message he got was at best confusing, but probably wrong. It should have been an out-lap critical and the worry in the background was that if we thrashed that tyre in a single lap, then that would happen later.

“But in summary wrong message to Lewis, this was the team’s fault.”

Asked how the relationship is between Hamilton, who is quitting Mercedes to join Ferrari next season, and the team, Wolff replied: “We’re trying to do the best out of the relationship. We’re trying to maximise the results for what is the final season.

“That always between drivers and teams can be tense at times because everybody wants to do their best.”

After suffering his seventh qualifying defeat to George Russell on Saturday, Hamilton bizarrely claimed that he does not expect to out-pace his teammate at any of the remaining races in 2024. Hamilton also pointed out how Russell had the benefit of using Mercedes’ new front wing in Monaco.

“All drivers are a bit skeptical at times,” Wolff said when asked if he thinks Hamilton might be starting to get paranoid about his treatment at Mercedes.

“I think as a team we have demonstrated, even in the most tense competitions between teammates, that we are always balanced and being transparent and fair.

“I think there wasn't a moment apart from 2016 in Abu Dhabi where we would try to manage. We haven’t done since then.

“But I can understand a driver, you want the best out of yourself and the team and sometimes when it is going against you, you can question it.

“But as a team we are 100 percent on a mission of giving the two drivers the best possible cars and the best possible strategies and supporting them.” 

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