Toto Wolff: Lewis Hamilton had 0% left for 20 laps
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton had “0 per cent rubber” left on his tyres during the final 20 laps of Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The front-runners made their sole stop on lap 10 in the wake of a Safety Car period caused by debris left by Charles Leclerc’s punctured and destroyed tyre.
Hamilton took on Mediums while Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel took on Hards in order to complete the remainder of the race.
But Hamilton struggled for pace and lapped several seconds off the ultimate performance while becoming increasingly vocal about his prospects of hanging on to the lead.
Hamilton ultimately remained atop the field and claimed his third Monaco victory, with Wolff accepting that Mercedes had made a mistake with its tyre strategy.
“What we’ve calculated is that the Medium would make it, if we changed through lap 15 or 16, it would make it to the end with the right management,” said Wolff.
“Being in the lead, that was a pretty straight strategy. It didn’t even seem like a huge stretch.
“We realised, with 20 laps into the race, that on the left front some graining appeared, he started to complain about the understeer from the graining and it was clear that it would get very, very difficult to make it to the end.
“So we had quite some discussions about the tyre lasting another 40 laps, and I was reminded that it was only 20 laps on a normal circuit. So, I calmed down a bit!
“But everybody knew that it’s going to be a huge stretch. I believe that probably 20 laps to the end, he had like 0 per cent rubber left on the tyre. He had understeer in the low speeds, you could see it around Loews, the car wouldn’t turn.”
Hamilton’s victory ensured he stretched his lead over Valtteri Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship to 17 points.
The win was Mercedes’ eighth in a row in Formula 1.