Hamilton had already been on his hard tyres for 31 laps when he decided to go for the extra point right at the end of the race.
His teammate Bottas had pitted for a set of used softs with seven laps remaining and appeared to have secured the extra point on his first flying lap on his fresh rubber, despite being compromised by a battery issue.
Hamilton was advised to come in for new tyres – which would have protected him from attack from behind as well as giving him the option to go for fastest lap – but he chose to stay out, explaining later than he didn’t want to take the risk of making an extra stop.
However, on the very last lap Hamilton pipped Bottas by securing fastest lap by just 0.037s.
“The fastest lap with the 32-old hard tyres, very surprising,” said Wolff when asked bout it by Motorsport.com. “And we tend to have a laugh because the engineers have that new presentation in our Sunday morning meeting which basically says ‘You don’t need to go for fastest lap, it doesn’t make any sense anyway.’
“And then he pulls one out like this. Which makes all the data look a little bit silly. But it’s just his ability.”
Hamilton himself admitted that he was surprised that he was able to outpace Bottas.
“I didn’t honestly know whether or not I’d be able to beat that time,” he said. “I was doing [1m]29.0[s], 29.1, and he did a [1m]27.4[s] I think it was I heard. I came on the radio and said I’m going to give it a go.
“I think they were quite reluctant initially, but they said I could go for it. I backed off a little bit the lap before just to cool the tyres a little bit, and then just went for it. And the tyre held up, it was really awesome. There was a bit of a blister on the right front, I was a little bit nervous about that, but otherwise it was really awesome.”
Bottas pointed out that his car was heavier than Hamilton’s when he made his attempt on lap 47, and added that he hoped that the team would be able address the battery issue in future races when the fastest lap is up for grabs.
“I tried pretty hard, but I didn’t really have full battery level at the moment,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com. “Even though with the mode I was running the lap before, it should have been.
“But I think it’s something we actually raised in the meeting, that can be a lot better in the race if we really have some margin to go for the fastest lap, to charge the pack more, to really deploy more. So I feel I lost a bit there.
“Also I carried a bit more fuel. I was surprised that with the hard tyre at the end he could do a lap like that. So obviously the hard tyre was very, very solid.
“It was not much. I had a bit of a lock-up into the last corner, the last couple of corners, so it was maybe a tenth there. That was enough.”