After qualifying second behind title rival Verstappen on Saturday, Hamilton took the lead of the United States Grand Prix on the opening lap after passing up the within at Flip 1 following a faster response off the road.
Hamilton stayed forward of Verstappen by the opening phases, just for Pink Bull to carry the Dutchman in to the pits on the finish of lap 10, which was sooner than predicted.
Mercedes stored Hamilton out for 3 extra laps earlier than pitting him, however Verstappen had already gained sufficient time on the undercut to maneuver into the lead after Hamilton rejoined the monitor.
Mercedes tried extending Hamilton’s second stint to create a bigger tyre delta, however the seven-time world champion couldn’t bridge the hole within the closing phases, ending 1.three seconds behind on the chequered flag.
Wolff mentioned Pink Bull’s early pit cease was a daring transfer, and one which his crew had not appeared to match after judging its knowledge.
“You can see the completely different methods,” Wolff mentioned.
“One crew that went for the undercut out of necessity, and a really, how can I say, brave transfer, as a result of it was very early. And the second time once more to their benefit.
“Significantly within the final stint, you would see that [Verstappen] had realized from the second stint to not injury the tyres too early as a result of he had one thing left on the finish.
“We had been simply on the again foot as a result of the automobile was not quick sufficient on the primary stint on the medium.
“We couldn’t probably have gone for an early cease, as a result of based mostly on the info that we had on the medium, it didn’t seem like we might end the race at that stage with an early cease.”
Hamilton managed to create an eight-lap tyre delta heading into the ultimate stint, and was as a lot as one second per lap faster than Verstappen as he gained floor.
However Wolff mentioned Mercedes didn’t contemplate holding Hamilton out even longer to create an even bigger delta as his instances had dropped off an excessive amount of.
“At a sure stage, you’re simply too gradual and also you’re shedding an excessive amount of time,” Wolff mentioned.
“That was the scenario within the second cease the place we didn’t have Sergio [Perez]’s strain, however merely needed to pit as a result of he was going too gradual. It’s at all times a stability of making a tyre offset while not shedding an excessive amount of floor.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Wolff praised Hamilton for driving “awesomely” in his push to make up the time to Verstappen earlier than the hole stabilised when he acquired inside a few seconds.
“He introduced the automobile in, remained calm despite the fact that he had 6.5 [seconds after the first stop] and, on the second cease, eight.5 seconds to Max,” Wolff mentioned.
“He introduced it in, elevated the tempo, and at a sure stage, there was only a large distinction, and that was brilliantly executed. However simply not shut sufficient on the finish.
“While you observe a automobile, you begin to undergo a bit, and I feel if we might have had possibly two laps extra, who is aware of?
“However it’s what it’s, and you want to congratulate Pink Bull for his or her stops.”