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Hamilton's medium tyre call would have been "a big gamble"  - Wolff

Hamilton's medium tyre call would have been "a big gamble" - Wolff

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Hamilton's medium tyre call would have been "a big gamble" - Wolff

Hamilton's medium tyre call would have been "a big gamble"  - Wolff

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes it would have been too big a gamble for Lewis Hamilton to start the Eifel Grand Prix on the medium tyre.

In the immediate aftermath of qualifying, Hamilton suggested he could have made it through Q2 on Pirelli's medium compound and so start the race on an opposite strategy to team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

As Hamilton stated: "I wanted to start on it, just because I wanted to do something different, but the team chose for us to both be on the same tyre.

"We’ll see whether it was the right choice tomorrow. I’m sure it’s the right choice. I think the other one would have been a little bit hard."

Wolff has confirmed the post-race strategy briefing determined that starting on the soft tyre was the right call.

With Hamilton second on the grid behind Bottas and a place ahead of Verstappen, Wolff said: "It was clear from the debrief the soft is the right tyre on which to start, and Lewis agreed to that.

"The reason being is that starting on the medium you are losing three to four metres against the soft, and all his competitors are on the soft, so it makes no sense to take big risks, a big gamble.

"You could clearly see from Q2 that nobody would have qualified on the medium so you would have had a disadvantage over the first few laps, and it was a clear decision.

"Obviously, Lewis doesn't like to be in P2 or worse, so that's why an alternative strategy always makes a lot of sense because accepting to follow a car is not how he operates, but the soft was the right choice for the race."

All teams go into the race with limited data after Friday practice was fogged off, with some calls during the race likely to be made on the hoof, a factor that enthuses Wolff.

"We are not so much in the dark, it's more adapting to the new situation, working with less data and accepting tomorrow there will be learning by doing," added Wolff.

"The whole grid believes the soft tyre is a good tyre to start with, and then we will see how that pans out, and whether it's a two-stop or a one because there's no data from long runs, whether the hard or the medium is the right choice.

"I find it super exciting."

Before you go...

Perez fears "painful day in the championship" for 'stressed' Racing Point

Verstappen confident Red Bull is "getting closer to Mercedes"

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