Sadly, the struggles returned for Mercedes and Toto Wolff during the Monaco GP weekend. The Silver Arrows came off from a much better run in Spain, where Russell and Hamilton finished third and fifth. However, the two drivers struggled with the bouncing issue and the bumpiness of the track. Moreover, the overtaking limitations of the Monte Carlo circuit restricted the two drivers from getting ahead of their starting grid positions. And as a result, Lewis Hamilton finished eighth while George secured the fifth spot in Monaco. For the sixth time this season, Lewis has finished behind his younger teammate during the 2022 championship.
Although, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff defended Hamilton after the frustrating weekend and criticized Fernando Alonso for causing a hold-up at Monaco by driving at a reduced pace. Wolff insisted that George and Hamilton were somewhat on the same pace. But some unlucky incidences restricted the 37-year-old from competing with the drivers ahead for a better finish.
Hamilton also had to deal with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who received a penalty for making contact with Mercedes. Moreover, Alonso’s slower pace kept Hamilton and other drivers behind on the narrow street circuit. Toto felt that Hamilton could have closed on Lando Norris and even fought George Russell because he had the pace. But Hamilton has had an unlucky season so far, as a couple of safety car procedures already cost him some crucial points this season. The Mercedes boss further pointed out that Hamilton was unlucky on several occasions in Monaco as he was stuck behind Alonso, the contact with Esteban, and the red flag during Saturday’s qualifying. However, Toto was hopeful that things would eventually turn in Hamilton’s favor as both the drivers were very much on the pace.
Wolff Claims Alonso Drove Like A F2 Driver In Monaco
The Mercedes team principal was quite unhappy with Alonso’s driving on Sunday. The race restarted after a red flag when Hamilton found himself behind Alonso. But, he could not get ahead of the Alpine car as Fernando deliberately drover slower on a Principality track where overtaking is nearly impossible. Alonso was four-second per lap slower than the cars in front of him. He finished 34 seconds behind Lando Norris despite the McLaren driver taking an extra pit stop. Further, Wolff accused Alonso of Formula 2 driving and suggested that F1 needs to make some changes in Monaco.
Toto felt that Alonso’s car slowed down by almost five seconds. As a result, all the drivers behind him were held up, which was a shame for racing. The former Austrian racer thinks that F1 should look at the track layout and figure out the things which could be done to avoid procession, build a strategy game, and bring changes in the qualifying as well. Toto added, “You can see there is another lesson that track position is quite important in Monaco. I mean, five seconds is like a Formula 2 car.
Wolff mentioned that Monaco is a brilliant venue, and he always feels amazing coming there. However, he thinks that F1 needs to look at the layout in a way where they can close down five-second slower loops.
Hamilton Hopes For A Better Performance In Azerbaijan
Hamilton was evidently frustrated by the Monaco GP’s outcome. However, he stated that he could not do much about the outcome, and there was no point in being upset about it. The former world champ hopes to get back to the factory and try again during the upcoming race. Hamilton is currently in the sixth position in the drivers’ standings, trailing the leader Max Verstappen by 75 points. Late on Sunday, the British racer posted a message on Instagram stating, “I’m sorry. I haven’t given you any results this year but I won’t give up. We win and lose together.”
Mercedes were well of the pace as they suffered bouncing, which was not related to porpoising. Hamilton pointed out that the bumpiness of the Monte Carlo track was the biggest challenge Mercedes faced in Monaco. The Briton hoped for better conditions in Azerbaijan and was praying that the W13 does not feel like it did in Monaco during the upcoming race. Lewis even mentioned that his teeth and jaw were moving the whole time and he felt done with all the shaking. He revealed that the stiffness of the W13 is driving back the suspension into the ground. And he was looking forward to a more open track without any kind of bumps like Monaco.
Elsewhere, Woff told that Monaco presented some crucial lessons for the struggling constructors’ champions. The team principal admitted that Mercedes is the third fastest. And that is why they belong to the fifth and sixth positions. However, Toto wants the team to be winning, and their experience at Monaco would be a part of the important lessons in order to perform better in the long run.