Whilst the majority of other drivers decided to pit under the safety car, including Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Hamilton stayed out on his medium tyres. Crucially, Hamilton’s teammate George Russell, also pitted losing him the buffer between him and Verstappen. Once the safety car ended, Hamilton pretty much instantly lost his position as Verstappen was right behind him on soft tyres.
At the end of the race we heard over the team radio, his race engineer Pete Bonnington say to Hamilton:
“Sorry about that Lewis. It was looking good but we’ll sit down and review decisions that we made there.”
Toto Wolff adds:
“Sorry it didn’t work out. We did what we discussed in the morning. We took the risk, it didn’t work out, but let’s discuss between us in the office.”
“To all the mechanics, fantastic job today. Those are the best pit stops we’ve had all year, so thank you for the continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing. We’ll still got points today.”
In a post-race interview with Sky Sports, Toto Wolff, explained:
“First of all, Lewis is ahead. So we’re always having a problem with the call.
“You can do two things, you can either pit Lewis, lose track position against Verstappen, and leave George out – screwed.
“You can pit both – screwed. So it was worth taking the risk.”