Mercedes to hold factory inquest after Monaco gaffe

Mon May 25, 2015 6:52pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One champions Mercedes will be in full gremlin-hunting mode when they regroup at their factory on Tuesday after committing one of the sport's biggest strategic blunders at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Although they won Sunday's showcase race for the third year in a row with Germany's Nico Rosberg, the headlines were all about how the dominant team blew a surefire victory for Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton had the race under control until the safety car was deployed some 14 laps from the end and the Briton was called in for a needless pitstop while rivals stayed out.

The world champion finished third, his overall lead over Rosberg halved to 10 points.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said an extensive debrief had been carried out already involving about 100 personnel from the factory, engine side and trackside operations on Sunday evening.

"We discussed it in an overview and we get back together on Tuesday morning to analyze it and by then we will know where we had a gremlin in the system," the Austrian told reporters.

Hamilton, who was excused the post-race debrief and usual team media duties in Monaco, is unlikely to attend after struggling to comprehend what had happened.

Others were equally mystified, with former racer David Coulthard among those saying the driver was badly let down.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain stops at his stand during the Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Boris Horvath/Pool