Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has apologised to Lewis Hamilton after the team’s strategic error cost the Briton victory in Monaco on Sunday.
Hamilton looked set to win the race, having controlled it from the start. However when the Safety Car was deployed following an incident, the team opted to pit him for fresh tyres.
It was when Hamilton exited the pits, that it became clear to the team that it was a huge mistake as he came out behind both Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel – with neither opting to pit.
“We’ve lost Lewis the Grand Prix with the mistake,” Wolff said immediately after the race.
“We thought the gap was a different one that it actually was, then he made a call and said the tyre temperature has dropped and there is no grip anymore.
“[It was] a complete misjudgement, we shouldn’t have had the overview. I’m just so sorry, it was a win for Lewis to be taken home, an easy run, and we screwed it up for him.
“There is nothing else to do than to apologise, apologise and apologise.”
Niki Lauda added: “I don’t know. Confusion. It was the wrong decision. We cost Lewis the race.”