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

Mercedes F1 team apologises to Lewis Hamilton for Monaco GP error

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."

shares
comments
Kimi Raikkonen says Daniel Ricciardo deserved penalty in Monaco GP

Previous article

Kimi Raikkonen says Daniel Ricciardo deserved penalty in Monaco GP

Next article

Monaco GP winner Nico Rosberg surprised by Lewis Hamilton pitstop

Monaco GP winner Nico Rosberg surprised by Lewis Hamilton pitstop
Load comments
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021