Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has refuted claims by Valtteri Bottas that the team's Bahrain Grand Prix strategy was "defensive" and "not quite normal".
Bottas was clearly annoyed post-race after finishing third behind race-winning team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, believing more should have been done to thrust him into the fight for the win.
The Finn's challenge was effectively undone, however, by his second pit-stop after 30 laps due to a problem with the removal of the front-right tyre that cost him 10.9secs.
Despite that, Bottas claimed that on strategy Mercedes "went defensive instead of attacking, which I’m quite surprised by and it’s not quite normal" and that "there was more to get" from the race.
Wolff, though, has dismissed such suggestions, pointing to the opening laps, in particular, that led to his driver's downfall. He said: “I think there wasn’t any strategy on the table because we tried to undercut.
"Also, with Valtteri, what changed the race for him, or made his race not bring the outcome he would have wished for, was that he lost positions at the start of the race and couldn’t recover the gap to the two guys in front.
“Then the pit stop that was there to undercut Max, I think we would probably have been successful but we had a problem with the right-front wheel gun.
"Then I don’t know what other strategy we could have run. The one-stop was clearly not possible. The medium wouldn’t have made it to the end.
"The hard in the middle stint was running out of performance and there was no other option on the table.
"But I totally understand the frustration in the car when you have limited information and say I think we could have done something else.”
Mercedes did at least pit Bottas in the closing stages, allowing him to claim an extra point for the fastest lap.
Wat vinden jullie?
He is there to support Hamilton win and the team to earn constructors points. Hamilton is not a great driver as proven during his absence last season. The car is superior to every other Team and unless the pit crew blows a tire change on purpose, it can win every race. But, Hamilton is Black and there is no way Mercedes Benz will help a White man beat a Black man.
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