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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Wolff stands by resolution to not pit Hamilton earlier than standing restart

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Rain showers within the lead as much as lights out meant your complete discipline began the race on intermediate tyres, however the track dried out under the red flag thrown following the clashes at Turn 1.

Whereas the sector left the pit lane on intermediates, the monitor dried out so shortly that 14 of the 15 vehicles got here instantly into the pits to tackle a set of slick tyres.

It resulted in a weird state of affairs the place Hamilton was left alone on the grid for the standing restart because the lights went out. Hamilton then pitted on the finish of the lap for slicks, inflicting him to drop to final place.

Mercedes F1 boss Wolff joked that it was “a bit lonely” for Hamilton on the grid, however defined that it was the precise name as he would have dropped again just a few locations anyway as a result of practice of vehicles passing by the pit lane.

“I feel [it was] 100% the precise resolution, and I stand by it,” Wolff stated.

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“On the finish, you’ll want to make the decision on the market and choose whether or not it’s dry sufficient or not. I assumed that inside one lap, it couldn’t probably dry up prefer it did, and on the finish, it’s a must to take it on the chin that it was the incorrect end result.

“However the resolution was proper. We calculated that he would have come out sixth with the practice of vehicles going into the pits. Now you might be extra intelligent, however it’s what it’s.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, third place, crosses the road

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Hamilton was able to recover to third place, he couldn’t maximise a tough day for title rival Max Verstappen, who solely completed tenth after his automobile was broken at Flip 1.

Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel had sat second and third behind Hamilton below the purple flag, and completed the race first and second after main the vehicles into the pit lane to take slicks.

Wolff denied that the decision could possibly be deemed an error by Mercedes, stressing that he stood “100%” by the choice and that Hamilton may have received the race regardless, had he not misplaced a lot time behind Fernando Alonso.

“We may have received as we speak,” Wolff stated.

“We misplaced quite a lot of time behind Fernando, and that made Esteban win the race, and that’s good.”

Whereas groups should not allowed to inform drivers to come back into the pits for tyres on the formation lap – seen with Antonio Giovinazzi’s personal resolution to gamble earlier than the primary lights out – they’ll achieve this for a standing restart.

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