Ah, i thought the rule was they "had" to be allowed to pass.
Lewis Vs Max doesn't really matter if it was just the 5 cars. If all had gone through the result would have been the same. But yes, I had thought it was a bad call for those cars stuck behind Max.
Yes, but for all cars to go through - A. that takes longer B. they safety car has to do an additional lap after that before coming in.
Mercedes made their call on the assumed length of the safety car if all cars get to unlap based on the rules.