Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff admitted that, with hindsight, they may have had a different strategy in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
World champion Lewis Hamilton was pipped to first place by Sebastian Vettel who produced a rare Ferrari victory in the second race of the year despite the Briton starting on pole position.
Nico Rosberg finished third for the Brackley team and it was the first time since last year’s Belgium Grand Prix that one of the two Mercedes drivers didn’t take the chequered flag.
Wolff said: “Our first feeling is obviously one of disappointment. We were beaten fair and square by Ferrari and Sebastian [Vettel], who did a fantastic job, and I’m not sure we could have matched their long run pace at any point.
“Of course, it’s easy to be clever after the race looking at things we could have done better. But we take these decisions together as a team and this is the moment to stay calm, do our analysis and learn what we can improve for next time.
“It was a complicated race for the team to read – and for the drivers – too, from the cockpit. But I think we can also take a step back and look at the sport.”
Hamilton said: “It was a tough race, I was struggling with the balance and never really felt comfortable with the car. There was so much under-steer that tyre management was really hard.”
Rosberg added: “I cannot be happy with third place, when the Safety Car came out I lost a lot of time in the pits.
“I expected to have to wait behind Lewis but it was letting some other cars by that cost the places. So I had to fight through to the top positions which was tough but my race pace was okay, so I can build on that.”