Mercedes have explained that traffic concerns and the predicted pace of Charles Leclerc led to their decision not to attempt an undercut with Lewis Hamilton at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The decision backfired for the championship leader significantly as he dropped from second to fourth place.
Hamilton said afterwards that the race should have been won "easily" by the Silver Arrows, with Sebastian Vettel showing them how it ought to have been done by undercutting both Hamilton and his pole-sitting Ferrari team-mate Leclerc to take victory.
However, Leclerc's tactics of backing up the field from the start in order to close potential pit-stop windows played enough havoc with Mercedes' thinking to lead them down an ultimately ruinous path.
"There was a number of cars from the midfield still out and they would have become traffic for Lewis on fresh tyres," trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said in Mercedes' YouTube debrief.
"So he would have had a few laps in clear air – two, maybe three at most – but then he would have hit that traffic and we weren't sure we'd be able to get through.
"It wasn't like he had a clear track to run on to.
"But the other question was all about Leclerc and his tyres. He'd been driving very, very slowly, and we thought that he'd still have a lot of life in those tyres.
"Now, as it happened they fell apart very quickly, almost as soon as he started pushing, and if we'd known that that would have obviously biased us to go for the early stop."
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