Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday, according to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, was due to a fantastic tactical move by the team.
The Briton made an extra second pit stop and therefore had enough speed in the final phase to outsmart Max Verstappen.
"I really have to take my hat off to the group of strategists led by James Vowles. They are just fantastic mathematicians who come up with all the simulations," Wolff said after the race against
Hamilton suddenly dived in for fresh medium tires, while driving right behind Verstappen.
After the stop, the gap was no less than 22 seconds, but due to the difference in speed, he managed to catch up with the Dutchman.
"It was a tough decision because Lewis was so close to Max, even within the DRS zone," admitted Wolff.
"Still, the strategists argued that we were more likely to be able to put in a successful overtaking move at the end of the race, rather than on tires that were only five laps fresher."
'They were actually terribly wrong'
According to Wolff, this strategy turned out even better than expected.
"The prediction was that we would gain 1.4 seconds per lap and overtake Max with one more lap to go. But they were completely wrong. We caught him much earlier."
The Austrian team boss thinks it might be an advantage for Mercedes that Hamilton, who started from pole, lost the lead to Verstappen early on.
"We were already behind, so it is easier to make this choice. We had less to lose than Red Bull."
Thanks to his third victory of the season, Hamilton hits a gap of fourteen points in the World Cup with Verstappen (94 to 80).
The fifth race of the season is scheduled for two weeks with the Monaco Grand Prix.
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