|© AP Photo/Vincent Thian
Mercedes’ decision to continue Lewis Hamilton on the intermediates he started the final leg of qualifying in, while rivals pitted for a fresh set of tyres, cost the Briton pole position at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday.
In the closing stages of Q3, on the wet track, drivers changed to a new set of intermediates after their first run but Mercedes opted to remain on the Pirellis they started the session with.
"Putting new tyres on was definitely the way to go," Hamilton was quoted saying by Autosport suggesting that the team had erred in its tactics. "Our strategy was to stay out, we thought it would dry up more and it work in our favour, but it didn't.
"I want to be on pole so initially when you get out of the car you don't think you're happy,” he said adding that he was positive that the car’s long run pace could give him an advantage on Sunday.
Teammate Nico Rosberg too admitted that he had “messed up the strategy” particularly since he had damaged his tyres, as he believed he was the “fastest guy out there and had the best car”.
“Clearly there was an opportunity at the end to put a second set of intermediates on and potentially go faster but it could have gone either way,” team principal Ross Brawn pointed out.