Mercedes boss Toto Wolff acknowledged that a strategic decision by the team cost Lewis Hamilton a potential victory at the United States Grand Prix - before the seven-time world champion was disqualified from the race.
There appeared to be a lack of certainty within the Mercedes team over committing to a one or two-stop strategy, which ultimately led to a delay in their pit stop.
As a result, Hamilton re-entered the race six seconds adrift of Verstappen and struggled to close the gap until the latter stages of the race, when they made a switch to the medium tyres.
Wolff: Pit strategy lost us the race
"Hindsight is a tough thing because you can see if we covered Max we had the quicker car at that stage but we didn't know," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
"Dragging out to a one-stop was a valid thing at that stage but we lost so much time over two laps. That's what lost the race.
"We were on Lap 19 or 20 and we needed to extend it until Lap 23 to make the one-stop stick. He stops, Max stops for a clear two-stop and we knew we just needed four more laps to go with a one-stop. He was 20 seconds behind us and then the tyre just dropped and we lost the gap.
"George was also left in no man's land. Just frustrating. Everything went a bit against us. Tough fighting with Ricciardo, who came out on the softs and did the quickest lap and a feisty Norris. But that's how it goes."
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