Lewis Hamilton snatched the lead from polesitter Max Verstappen on the run to Turn 1 after making a fast start, to which Red Bull responded by bringing in its driver earlier than anticipated on Lap 10. 

With Mercedes opting to run Hamilton three laps longer into the first stint, Verstappen was able to regain track position thanks to his pace on fresher tyres as the undercut strategy paid off. 

Mercedes stuck to its offset tyre strategy in the hope Hamilton would be able to catch and pass Verstappen on in the final stint - bringing Hamilton in eight laps later - but the Red Bull driver successfully resisted Hamilton’s charge and held on to win.

Wolff believes both drivers were operating at their highest level and praised Red Bull’s strategic gamble. 

"You could see the different strategies," Wolff said. "One team that went for the undercut out of necessity, and a very courageous move, because it was very early. And the second time again to their advantage.

“Max’s driving, particularly in the last stint, you could see that he had learned from the first stint not to damage the tyres too early because he had something left at the end.

"We were just on the back foot because the car was not fast enough on the first stint on the medium. 

“And we couldn't possibly have gone for an early stop, because based on the data that we had on the medium, it didn't look like we could finish the race on a two stop if we pitted earlier.

“Then Lewis did drive awesomely. He brought the tyre in, remained calm even though we had six and a half seconds and on the second stop eight and a half seconds to Max.

“He brought it in, increased the pace and at a certain stage there was just a massive difference. And that was brilliantly executed but just not close enough at the end. If we would have had maybe two laps more, who knows?

“But it is what it is and you need to congratulate Red Bull for their stops.”

Asked if he felt there was a possibility to keep Hamilton out even longer in the first stint, Wolff replied: “No I don’t think so because also at a certain stage you are just too slow and losing too much time. 

“That was also the situation with the second stop where we didn’t have pressure [from Sergio Perez] but simply had to pit because he was going to slow. 

“It’s also the balance of creating a tyre offset while not losing too much ground.