I dont really see that, if it would have failed, well, then he is still P3, pits for fastest lap point, etc.
Shovlin mentions cars losing 4-5 seconds a lap at the end of stints, I think that's what they were afraid of. Although presumably they could have pitted to safely get 3rd so a risk worth taking.
I imagine Lewis's reaction and maybe some forumers would have been interesting if that if that did occur though.
If they thought the tyres going right off the cliff was a likely scenario then attacking Vettel with fresher softs may have seemed the route with higher potential for p2.
I've seen nothing in the post race comments from merc to that makes me think what they did was unreasonable tbh (except I wish they'd gone for the undercut to start with!). Lewis hasn't indicated he thought staying out was an option AFAIK either.
It's always more likely to beat a Ferrari over track position than over overtaking them, especially when the race is not on a Bahrain-type of track. Of course he might have still complained, but it should be obvious what is more likely to give you P2.
Moreover Shovlin's numbers are based on them asking Lewis to push through the stint, if he doesnt push as much as he did, it would have been probably much more feasible than it already was.
The only argument I can bring forward for what Mercedes did - except of preventing the earlier mentioned awkward scenario - is them fearing that the tyre explodes and he ends up with zero points. The difference between 16 and 18 points is fairly insignificant when compared to 16 vs. 0 points.
Edited by Marklar, 17 October 2019 - 12:40.