• IN WORDS: It Takes Guts to Admit a Mistake - Toto

Toto debriefs a difficult Austrian Grand Prix...

'The most painful day'

Sunday in Spielberg proved to be heart-breaking for the team, with both Lewis and Valtteri retiring from the race. It was a devastating result - but we'll come back stronger next time out.

"For me, this is the most painful day in my years at Mercedes, worse than Barcelona (2016)," Toto admitted.

"I had plenty of people coming to see me before the start and saying, 'This was going to be a walk in the park, one-two, you have the quickest car.'

"This is exactly how motor racing can go. It can be very cruel and we had all the cruelty go against us.

"The most important thing is to understand why an error happens, go back to the situation and analyse it. Then, get our minds back to Silverstone and race as good as we can there."

'This is where we lost the race'

Prior to Lewis retiring from the race, the team opted to keep him out during the Virtual Safety Car, which cost him track position when he eventually had to stop.

"We were running one and two and controlling the race - and suddenly you see your second car stopping," Toto explained.

"The VSC came out, we had half a lap to react and we didn't. Fact. This is where we lost the race. At that stage of the race with the VSC, pitting is probably 80% the thing you need to do.

"With one car out there against two others, the thinking process that happened was, 'what would happen if the others pitted a car?'

"We would come out behind Kimi, because they would leave Kimi out, and behind Max. What would that mean for the race?

"That whole thinking loop I wouldn't say distracted us, but we spent too much time on that."

'It needs guts'

"We all were in pain about the mistake that we made," Toto said. "James (Vowles) coming on to the radio is the mindset that we are having.

"We are able to say that we have done a mistake in order to close the matter and also give him (Lewis) piece of mind that there is complete acknowledgment within the team of what has gone wrong and that it was our mistake in order to make him park the thought.

"It was about extracting what was left in the performance - helping him (Lewis) out of the mind loop of how this could possibly have happened. By admitting the mistake, it's easier to get out of that spiral.

"For me, James is one of the best ever. It needs guts to come out and, in order to save the best possible result, go out there in front of millions of people and say 'that was my mistake'."