Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Mercedes F1 team apologises to Lewis Hamilton for Monaco GP error

Mercedes has apologised to Lewis Hamilton after a strategic error cost the reigning Formula 1 world champion victory in the Monaco Grand Prix

Hamilton was cruising to what would have been his second success around the streets of the Principality until a crash involving Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean on lap 64 brought out the safety car.

Even though only 14 laps of the race remained at that stage, Hamilton was brought in to take on a fresh set of super-soft tyres, and he emerged not only behind Rosberg, but also Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari.

Hamilton "can't express" feelings

Although the duo were on cold and older tyres by the time the safety car pulled back in with eight laps remaining, there was no way past for Hamilton on his fresher rubber.

Asked 'what the hell happened there?', Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff replied: "What the hell happened there? That's exactly the right question.

"The simple answer is we got the math, the calculation wrong.

"We thought we had a gap which we didn't have when the safety car came out, and Lewis was behind the safety car.

"The calculation was simply wrong, hence what happened. In Monaco, you have no GPS and that makes the whole exercise more difficult.

"This is why we got it wrong when it switched from the virtual safety into the safety car.

"I went to see him in the scrum and I said 'apologies for that one, it goes on the team'. It was all good between us."

Questioned as to why the team would take such a gamble, with Hamilton ahead on a track where overtaking is virtually impossible, Wolff said: "The potential risk could have been Sebastian switching on a soft tyre behind us.

"Now, very simply from a common-sense overview - disregarding the data, but we have to follow the data, that's how the sport works - I agree it looks like a risk.

"But the simple answer was the numbers were wrong.

"This was a team's decision. We make decisions together and it is not one person to blame."

Wolff has revealed Daimler chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche (pictured), looking on from the Mercedes garage, was also left far from impressed.

"He was very unhappy with that particular situation," said Wolff.

"We have a championship leader, this is Lewis, and we have Nico running in number two today.

"Lewis is a great leader, a great driver, and I am sure he will understand sometimes we make errors and this was such a situation."

"Believe me, there is no such thing as favouritism in this team for whatever reason."

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Kimi Raikkonen says Daniel Ricciardo deserved penalty in Monaco GP
Next article Monaco GP winner Nico Rosberg surprised by Lewis Hamilton pitstop

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe