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Mercedes tried to fool Williams with 'fake' pit stop

Charles Coates/Getty Images

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted his team conducted a fake pit stop in the opening stint of the British Grand Prix in an attempt to try to pressure rivals Williams into pitting too early.

On lap 14 the Mercedes mechanics ran out into the pit lane, but neither car was called for a tyre change. After the race, Mercedes boss Wolff said the team was trying to coax Williams into an early stop.

"Yes, we know that Williams has more difficulties in keeping their tyres until the end and we knew that triggering an early stop would make them think if they were able to do that and trigger maybe them into a pit stop that would have caused them problems at the end.

"So it was a bit of a game, which didn't function."

Wolff's wife Susie, who is a test driver at Williams, texted her husband immediately after the event.

"My wife sent me a Whatsapp saying: 'You guys think you can fool us? Ha ha ha,' Wolff added. "So it was worth at least the entertainment."

It could be argued the dummy pit stop was in violation of Article 23.11 of the Sporting Regulations, which states: "Team personnel are only allowed in the pit lane immediately before they are required to work on a car and must withdraw as soon as the work is complete."

However, no action was taken and the stewards declared the results official without feeling the need to investigate the incident.