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29.07.2019 Sports News

Mercedes chief rues errors after Verstappen claims German Grand prix

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff vowed to learn from the mistakes made during a disastrous German Grand Prix on Sunday in which both team drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas crashed.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen claimed the race ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso. It was the first time this season that a Mercedes driver had failed to finish in the top three.

Wolff, wearing braces and baggies as part of Mercedes' decision to revert to retro outfits in celebration of 125 years of motorsport, said the team was not prepared and made the wrong calls.

"Many drivers crashed," said Wolff. "Overall, for us, it was a bad day and, for the drivers, it was a bad day..

"This shows that you shouldn't fool around with the staff. You should concentrate on the job. We are not superstitious but we believe in karma and it's a day to learn."

Hamilton, who leads the 2019 drivers championship, started the race in pole position despite suffering from a bug. He finished ninth while Bottas crashed out in the closing laps.

"It was my worst day in the office for a long, long time," said Hamilton. "I'm glad there are more races ahead so we can focus on regrouping and coming back strong."

Verstappen, 21, exploited the misfortunes of his rivals to win his second Grand Prix of the seaon and the seventh of his career.

"It was amazing but really tricky out there," said Verstappen, who made four pit-stops and survived a 360-degree spin. To make the right calls, you had to be focused."