Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has explained why Lewis Hamilton was unable to perform a Spain-style undercut on Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix.
At the Spanish Grand Prix in May, Mercedes denied Verstappen the opportunity of a second stop by pitting Hamilton early and making use of the powerful undercut to eliminate the Dutchman's pit window.
Although similarly powerful in Zandvoort last weekend, Mercedes has explained switching Hamilton to a three-stop strategy in a bid to achieve a similar outcome was not possible.
"The reality with this race was most people were actually making it a one-stop, a one-stop that needed some management," said Shovlin.
"You saw up at the front Lewis and Max were pushing those tyres harder, they were on the two-stop strategy.
"And while that was viable, it was potentially even the fastest way to do the race, when you make that extra stop there isn’t enough tyre degradation to make up the fact that you have got another 20 seconds or so in the pits.
"The reality is the third stop wouldn’t have worked."
In finishing second, Hamilton conceded the lead of the drivers' championship to Verstappen.
Mercedes did stop Hamilton for a third time with two laps remaining but this was in an ultimately successful attempt to secure the point for the fastest lap.
"We are monitoring these things live," explained Shovlin.
"We're always looking at every opportunity that we can to try and generate some strategic advantage, but what we could see in this instance was you'd make that third stop, you'd drop back and you'd never even catch back up during the remainder of the race.”