Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says the team is left feeling angered after admitting his side got the Singapore Grand Prix “so wrong”.

The reigning world champion squad had been tipped as pre-race favourites in Singapore but failed to even finish on the podium as Lewis Hamilton took fourth place ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton had managed to place his car on the front row of the grid after Ferrari unleashed surprising pace in qualifying, but the Briton dropped to fourth after being undercut by his rivals when Mercedes opted to extend his first stint.

Speaking after the race, Wolff said: “We didn’t optimise what we could have optimised. I think the main missed opportunity was qualifying. This is the most decisive thing in Singapore.

“We missed the opportunity of the undercut that maybe even surprised Ferrari, how powerful it was, and from then on it was about protecting the position against Max [Verstappen] or going for the win, which was maybe probably a small percentage but we took the risk of sacrificing third, with the support of Valtteri [Bottas] obviously in that situation.

|It was a bit of a gamble, and you could see that probably Ferrari had a different end [to the race] in the mind as well.

“We are not losing sleep about it but we are all angry,” he added. "I can tell you that we just had a little get-together with the engineers and the drivers and there's a general feeling of 'we got it wrong, we got it so wrong this weekend’.

“The mood that we all feel, and we all felt coming together, is just annoyance, that we just lost too many opportunities. There is nobody in the team that hasn't got that feeling.”

Hamilton was left frustrated by his strategy and felt Mercedes could have “easily won” the race had it followed Ferrari in carrying out the undercut.

Asked if Mercedes considered pitting the world championship leader earlier, Wolff replied: “No. At that stage we lost P1 and P2, it was about protecting P3 against Max.

“We felt that the tyre had more, it was our only chance to overcut and there was this big gaggle around Lance [Stroll] and [Antonio] Giovinazzi, and the Ferraris were catching up quickly, so we would have hoped that it would have stopped the Ferrari train.

“But as a matter of fact then Lewis' times dropped below the Giovinazzi times, out of nowhere, and this is when it was game over for us.”

 

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