MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Apart from as the FIA have pointed out in the rebuttal of Mercedes complaints the decision that was made fell within the rules. Masi didn't change anything, its just unfortunate that the rules as written literally overwrite each other.Yes, it was a strategy call. However Mercedes made their decision based on the globally understood safety car rules that were in their favour...until Masi changed them.
In the 'free' stops that Max had, it was a no-lose option. Still don't know why Mercedes brought Hamilton in straight after Max had stopped for hards, as Hamilton's mediums were fine and he could have had another 10 laps on them and avoided the Perez defence.
If Bottas had turned up, then both teams might have been able to use the same defence.
I hope it doesn't drag on, and the bosses (or Hamilton) asks the team to back down and accept the result.
What was controversial was how the race director announced his decision as initially the teams were told that lapped cars were not to overtake the safety car. Then for what ever reason that decision was reversed.
Mercedes knew that Red Bull were basing their strategy on a safety car. Hamilton himself pointed out to his team that if they didn't change tyres they were going to be in a dodgy position. They chose not to and the result is what it is.
Do I think the FIA handled the decision making well. No not really it was messy and contradictory. Do I think that the rules need re-writing absolutely I do however the decision that was made is black and white in the rules.