Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has backed chief strategist James Vowles to continue in his role, despite the blunder which sent Lewis Hamilton's Austrian Grand Prix into a tailspin. Hamilton was not called into the pits under a Virtual Safety Car prompted by Valtteri Bottas' retirement, a clear error that cost the champion.
Having taken the lead from Bottas on the opening lap, Hamilton was in control of the race until he was kept out under the VSC, with his rivals behind all diving in for a service in the slowed conditions.
When racing resumed, Hamilton was just 13 seconds ahead of ultimate race-winner Max Verstappen, but needing a 20-second run through the pits to change tyres.
Hamilton shredded his rear tyres after emerging in fourth and eventually retired from the race with a fuel pressure problem, having pushed hard in a fruitless attempt to make up ground.
Vowles took to team radio to publicly apologise to Hamilton during Sunday's race, a move Wolff said took "guts", before backing the team to respond well at this week's British Grand Prix.
"For me, James is one of the best ever, and it needs guts to come out and in order to save the best possible result go out there and say in front of millions of people and say, 'That was my mistake, now you can still do this, with the car you have'," Wolff said.
"We don't need to make changes.
"The most important thing is to understand why an error happens, and go back into the situation and analyse it.
"I don't think that we would make an error twice. It's just that the situation is very complex, we are fighting [between] six cars and it's just a tough situation."
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