Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted his team "nearly peed their pants" following the dramatic finish to the Singapore Grand Prix.

Although Nico Rosberg controlled the race from the start, a late switch to supersofts tyres by Red Bull rival Daniel Ricciardo meant a very close finish.

The Australian erased a 20-second gap to the German over the final laps and crossed the finish line just 0.4s behind the race winner.

"We nearly peed our pants at the end," said Wolff after the race. "It was so close, how it should be in Formula 1.

"Four really quick cars, different strategies and I must really take my hat off to Red Bull, they pulled off a great strategy at the end.

"Ricciardo, out of the box with amazing pace, really exciting at the end.

"Unbelievable. That's how Formula 1 should be, every second of the race."

Wolff insisted Mercedes could not react to Red Bull's late pitstop because it would have meant losing the lead to Ricciardo, who had gone much quicker than Rosberg on his out-lap.

"We couldn't do that, because we would have lost the lead," Wolff added.

"We were planning to pit, and then Daniel put out a stunner and the gap shrunk, it was gone. So we just needed to make it to the end."

Bad weekend for Hamilton

While Rosberg enjoyed a flawless weekend to re-take the championship lead, teammate Lewis Hamilton endured a difficult grand prix and could only manage third place.

Wolff said the world champion never felt fully comfortable with the set-up of his car.

"It started on the wrong foot by not having enough laps," he said.

"And then he couldn't really double check the set-up, and he wasn't happy with the set-up. He got off the start well, but when the brake temps kicked in, it took him a while to manage that.

"I wouldn't put it down to driver error, it was just a bad weekend for him.

"They are so close to each other in terms of performance. One bad weekend is enough and you're losing your advantage, like Lewis did. It's going to go down to the wire."

Additional reporting by Andrew van Leeuwen


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