Formula One is back in the principality after a two-year hiatus and for the first time since 2013, Red Bull Racing is now leading the constructors’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton is a three-time Monaco winner, but after a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, he ruled out his chances of claiming another victory in the streets of one of the most iconic F1 Grand Prix.
“I don’t have much of a reaction to today’s strategy,” Hamilton said during the post-race media session, which included MotorLat.
“If we stayed out longer, maybe Gasly wouldn’t have pitted and we would have an advantage there, but yeah... it’s done”.
As per the tyres, Mercedes have been struggling all weekend to get them to temperature, yet Lewis laconically commented he “doesn’t have an explanation” as to why the team had so many problems.
“We don’t have an explanation, that’s why we were in the position we were in. This is something we need to look into and try to understand.
“It wasn’t just the tyres today… I was just stuck behind everyone,” the Briton said.
Lewis Hamilton has been struggling the whole weekend, failing to get a podium start; while teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was starting from second place on the grid – after a driveshaft issue prevented poleman Charles Leclerc from participating in the GP – had even worse luck, having to retire his car.
“There’s a lot of things we could have done better coming into this weekend.
“We win and we lose as a team and obviously we cannot take it lightly, yet there is no point in being depressed,” the Champion commented when asked whether today’s result could be a trigger to become even stronger and fight back.
“We must look at the data, understand what went wrong and aim to be on pole in the next races.”
As if Hamilton's day couldn't get any worse, he was close to being lapped by the race leader Verstappen.
Eventually, the British driver managed to avoid that, he finished the race in P7 and set the fastest lap, taking a bonus point.
“I’m grateful this weekend is finished and I’m grateful we could get some points and the fastest lap”, Lewis said at the end of the race.
Hamilton was clearly disappointed by the whole weekend’s performance but he said this weekend won’t affect his mental approach to the upcoming races.
“Honestly, I’m just glad this is over. It was a pretty long race and I will say it times and times again… no matter what position you’re in, this track is just not fun to race on.
“I’m sure for Max it was a pretty chilled afternoon, for me I will just switch off and prepare for Baku,” the Briton said when asked by Motorlat.
“The weekend is done, I will probably re-watch the race…or maybe just the highlights,” he said smiling, “because I need to understand what didn’t go right and to understand where I lost three places.
“Otherwise, I will just focus on something else and get ready for the next Grand Prix,” he concluded.
Tough one to swallow. This has been one of our hardest days as a Team in a very long time.— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 23, 2021
We have to accept it, own the failure, learn from it and move on from here. pic.twitter.com/S8q2gMX4dw
Formula One is a team sport, hence it is essential to keep the morale high and avoid pointing the finger at each other.
“Well, obviously we don’t like to kick at each other when we’re down.
“I think there is nothing such as pointing at each other, there is no individual here. We are a team and we have a very open relationship. We just talk and take every suggestion on board. It’s a matter of constructive discussion.”
“There won’t be silence between now and the next race. We’ll obviously have to talk and understand how we can improve.”
With his well-known positivity, Lewis Hamilton believes what makes Mercedes a great team is precisely their ability to identify mistakes and constantly pursuing progress.
“If we have all the Championships we have is because despite the mistakes we always come back stronger.
“I’m often grateful for crappy days like this because these are the days when you learn the most.”
“If you’re winning all the time, you’ll learn less so there is a lot to take from this weekend. We don’t have all the answers now, but we’ll have to go and find them,” Hamilton concluded.