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Mercedes threw away '90% chance' of winning

Mercedes threw away '90% chance' of winning

F1 News

Mercedes threw away '90% chance' of winning

Mercedes threw away '90% chance' of winning

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was left frustrated by his side seeing a "90 per cent" chance of winning the Bahrain Grand Prix slip through their fingers. Sebastian Vettel made an unlikely one-stop strategy work, with Valtteri Bottas unable to catch and pass the Ferrari in time.

Mercedes looked to have pulled off a strategy masterstroke with Lewis Hamilton and Bottas committing to one-stop strategies, with Ferrari apparently going to two-stoppers.

The Scuderia kept Vettel out on soft tyres, which he managed to keep alive for 39 laps, despite an expected lifetime of 30 tours.

Bottas closed to the gearbox of Vettel on the final lap, but never got into position to make a pass.

"I thought we had won the race already after coming out on the medium behind Sebastian with a gap that we were able to close down, knowing that they would either need to stop once again or they would run out of tyre if we were to push them," said Wolff.

"This was the moment where I would say the 90 per cent probability was on us winning. And we lost that.

"We decided to go for it, see how it would be on our cars, still with the option of stopping twice. Valtteri immediately had very good pace so it was clear we could make it to the end on the medium.

"There was still a chance Ferrari wouldn't do the same. This is taking big risks because at the end Vettel's car was probably two seconds slower than Valtteri so if it would have been one or two laps later he would have lost the race.

"But 'would be' is not what counts, what counts is the race result and Sebastian and Ferrari won it very deserved. They adapted to the situation.

"It is frustrating that it wasn't enough, there wasn't a move. But it's very unfair to say because these cars are difficult to overtake and Sebastian is a great driver."

Wolff played a straight bat to questioning about the coming-together between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. While watching footage of the collision in the cool room post-race, Hamilton called Verstappen a "dickhead".

"It was a racing incident," Wolff said.

"Max dived in on the inside, a good move, bit aggressive pushing Hamilton out but I think most drivers would have done that."

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