“I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?” Mercedes blunder hands Hamilton’s win to Rosberg

2015 Monaco Grand Prix review

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With 15 laps to go, Lewis Hamilton would have been forgiven for thinking he had the Monaco Grand Prix bought and paid for.

Any semblance of threat from his team mate Nico Rosberg had long since receded. The other Mercedes was preoccupied with the challenging Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

With Rosberg 19.2 seconds in arrears at the end of lap 63, Hamilton could back off to the tune of a second per lap and still cruise home to victory. But a violent crash at Sainte Devote and a hasty reaction on the Mercedes pit wall was about to put paid to that.

Hamilton stays ahead

An hour and a half earlier, Hamilton had shown his pursuers a clean pair of heels when the red lights went out. Sebastian Vettel dived to the inside of Rosberg but the Mercedes carried enough momentum around the outside to stay ahead, despite a surface made slippery by the cement dust used to clean up a support race crash.

Kvyat came within millimetres of creaming into the back of Vettel’s car as the Ferrari swerved around, but despite locking his front tyres he squeezed ahead of Daniel Ricciardo to take fourth place.

At Mirabeau, for the second year in a row on lap one, a McLaren knocked a Force India into a barrier. This time the culprit was aFernando Alonso and the victim was Nico Hulkenberg. The latter continued after stopping for a new front wing, while Alonso was handled a five-second time penalty. Hulkenberg had already tangled with Felipe Massa at turn one, and the Williams driver arrived in the pits with him for attention at the end of the first lap.

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Rosberg loses touch in traffic

Hamilton kept his lead at the usual two-seconds-plus mark at first. But as the leaders hit traffic he began to stretch his lead over Rosberg to more than four seconds.

As they began to work their with past quicker cars Rosberg found it increasingly difficult to keep up. In the course of four laps his deficit doubled to more than nine laps as he worked his way past the delayed Hulkenberg, pit lane starter Carlos Sainz Jnr and Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

The good news for Rosberg was that Hamilton was now so far ahead Mercedes could give him a more optimal strategy in order to keep Vettel behind. The Ferrari driver eventually came in on lap 36, and despite a rapid out-lap Rosberg held his position after coming in the next time by.

Hamilton joined them in switching from the super-soft to the soft tyres on the 38th lap – one shy of half-distance – and from then on he drew away from Rosberg at an even greater rate. The 2008 Monaco Grand Prix winner looked like he was on his way to a second victory.

Verstappen crashes out

On Thursday morning Max Verstappen had delivered a headline-grabbing performance by lapping little more than a second off Hamilton’s pace on his first ever laps of the demanding Monte-Carlo course. His race had started well, too – he had passed Pastor Maldonado’s slowing Lotus, though not without knocking off part of his front wing.

But it all started to go wrong when he headed for the pits on lap 29. His right-rear wheel stuck, over 25 seconds were lost, and with that his chance of a points finish seemed to have gone.

Needing to make up ground, his team soon brought him back in for a switch back to super-soft tyres. Having fallen off the lead lap, he was now able to follow the leaders and use them to pass other cars which were being lapped. He did this to brilliant effect on lap 55, using Vettel to squeeze past Valtteri Bottas on the approach to Portier.

Romain Grosjean was alert to the threat, however, and made sure there was no room for Verstappen when the Ferrari came past him. But Verstappen, who’s caught the Lotus at around a second and a half per lap, looked capable of producing a pass without assistance.

It all went disastrously wrong on lap 64. Verstappen said afterwards he was not trying to put a pass on Grosjean at the time, and that the Lotus driver braked earlier than he expected for Sainte Devote. As the Lotus slowed for the first corner Verstappen dodged right and came very close to avoiding contact – but not close enough.

The impact tore the front-left wheel off the Toro Rosso, sending Verstappen on a terrifying toboggan ride into the conveyor belt at Sainte Devote. Astonishingly the Lotus was able to keep moving. “I turned around,” said Grosjean, “which established all four wheels were there, then looked in the mirrors to see if the rear wing was still there too, then got on with my race”.

“I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?”

The race, however, had been neutralised. A new Virtual Safety Car period was originally invoked, but shortly afterwards it was replaced by its real-world equivalent. This contributed to Hamilton’s undoing.

From inspecting the timing monitors Mercedes believed they could get their lead car in and out of the pits without losing their advantage. They couldn’t. From watching the view screens around the track Hamilton had guessed that Rosberg and Vettel had taken the opportunity to make an extra pit stop for super-soft tyres. They hadn’t. “We didn’t discuss pitting in the end,” Rosberg confirmed afterwards.

But in came Hamilton at the end of lap 65, having lost several extra seconds due to catching the Safety Car. Rosberg had not been disadvantaged in this way, and motored past Hamilton as the former leader left the pits.

This could have presented Mercedes with a McLaren-in-Australia-1998-style dilemma – would they have told Rosberg to let his team mate by as he’d pitted in error? But Hamilton was also passed by Vettel, the pair motoring up Beau Rivage side-by-side before the Ferrari assumed second place. “I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?” Hamilton lamented.

The Red Bull shuffle

Race control wasted several of the few remaining racing laps by needlessly sending the lapped cars past the Safety Car again. When the race finally resumed at the end of lap 70, Rosberg slowed the field sharply at Rascasse. “It was quite treacherous out there with those hard tyres because they were really stone cold,” he said.

“They were telling me the temperatures, we’ve never ever had those temperatures before I think in those tyres.” But Hamilton’s softer, fresher tyres were not enough to bring him within striking range of Vettel.

One driver behind him was able to gain a place. Ricciardo pounded on a momentary mistake by Raikkonen at the exit of Casino and went for the inside at Mirabeau. Raikkonen saw him coming too late and began to squeeze the Red Bull after Ricciardo drew alongside. The pair made contact, and Ricciardo squeezed past, leaving Raikkonen thoroughly unimpressed.

Red Bull then arranged a neat and scrupulously fair piece of teamwork. Kvyat was instructed to wave Ricciardo past so that his team mate on fresher tyres could attack Hamilton. That plan came to naught, so on the final lap the drivers were told to switch positions back again. Again the pair obeyed – the team has come a long way since its Webber and Vettel days.

Sergio Perez completed an untroubled run to seventh for Force India. Jenson Button put McLaren’s first points of 2015 on the board with eighth, though it was another bittersweet day for the team as Fernando Alonso’s car broke down again. Felipe Nasr was back among the points scorers for Sauber and Sainz capped an excellent recovery run from his pit lane start by taking the final point.

‘Lewis was better this weekend’

A surprised Rosberg therefore inherited his third consecutive victory on the streets of Monaco. Hamilton, who began the weekend by announcing a new three-year deal to remain with Mercedes, showed commendable restraint as he batted away questions about whether his faith in their strategists had been wrecked.

While Rosberg has closed to within ten points of Hamilton in the drivers’ championship he was under no illusions about the manner in which his victory had come.

“Until the safety car Lewis had done a perfect job,” Rosberg admitted, “he was better than me over the weekend, so he definitely deserved the win.”

“I know how horrible he must feel now. This weekend was a warning for me that I have to work even harder for the next race.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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74 comments on ““I’ve lost this race, haven’t I?” Mercedes blunder hands Hamilton’s win to Rosberg”

  1. Man, and I thought Monaco 2014 would have been tough for him. This seemed even more painful. But I think that comparing his reaction this year to his reaction from last year really shows how he has matured.

    What does Hamilton have to do to win a second race at Monaco? Qualifying on pole and dominating most of the race apparently isn’t enough…

    1. @polo well… dominating the very last lap would be a start :P

    2. I believe because Mercedes admitted it was their fault in Canada they should invoke “team orders” irrespective of the places.
      Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish and didn’t pick up any debris.
      One final note it will vindicate Lewis for the the debacle that happened at Monaco last year.

      1. It was Mercedes their fault, no single reason why, if Rosberg is ahead, Rosberg shuld suffer in Canada. To make things equal is not a thing in F1…

        1. Certainly not form the start though @xtwl, who knows what might happen in the race, and that’s why they have two cars and drivers capable of fighting for a win.

          Maybe, in some circumstances, if there’s a choice between one and the other that needs to be made in Canada, they could tell ROS that they have to choose for HAM to make up for Monaco, and that might be okay. But even then I’d rather they just choose based on who’s got the best chance of a win .

        2. Ian Laidler (@)
          26th May 2015, 1:56

          I am a big Lewis fan but punishing Nico for something Paddy Lowe should have prevented is ludicrous and I don’t think for one minute that Lewis would want to win a race in that manner.

      2. Punishing Rosberg for the team’s error is not on.

      3. I truly hope they don’t. It’s not Rosbergs fault they messed up. He shouldn’t be punished for their mistake.

    3. Wouldn’t have expected such bad judgement from an experienced driver like Hamilton.

      Wouldn’t either have expected such bad behavior after the finish; leaving the car at the side of the track, driving slowly like a London taxi, and crashing into the #3 plate on purpose. That’s the behavior of a little child, not of a top driver.

      1. Wow. The team destroyed Hamilton’s race, he showed incredible restraint after the fact and yet people manage to find a way to bash him. Incredible… Go back to the woodwork from whence thou came.

      2. If you’ve watched F1 for any length of time, you’ll know that drivers hitting their sign when they have a podium finish is a commonplace occurence. Stop looking for a meaning in everything that simply isn’t there.

        1. Michael Brown
          25th May 2015, 16:10

          They don’t push the number sign as far as he did.

      3. Wow, he hit the #3 sign. How terrible.

      4. Ian Laidler (@)
        26th May 2015, 1:58

        get real …. what a jerk

    4. Hamilton said he coul have won with a 30sec gap if not for the saftycar. Well with a 30sec gap he wouldnt have rejoined at third so his careful driving backfired on him. It was no Senna for sure, he could start by going for it if he wants to win.

      1. Ian Laidler (@)
        25th May 2015, 13:09

        if you actually watched the race closely you will have noticed that a clean pit stop at Monaco takes about 24 secs, by my reckoning 24 from 30 leaves a gap of +6 secs which would have put him back out in the lead …… donkey

    5. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      25th May 2015, 9:40

      He hasn’t matured at all. Did you not see the way he intentionally ran over the third place sign in the paddock just before the podium? He is as immature as ever.

      1. Did you miss the fact that he lost 17 points through no fault of his own? That’s a lot if you ask me. He was angry, rightfully so, and showed both maturity and restraint with the way he acted after the race.

      2. Ian Laidler (@)
        25th May 2015, 13:16

        you have no way of knowing if that was intentional or just late reaction due to his understandable frustration … did you also see the way he walked away from the podium to gather his thoughts prior to the interviews, not only did he congratulate Nico and Seb but he said that he and the team win and lose together … the boy showed some real maturity that judging by the reaction of the crowd and the people on the podium was fully appreciated … wonder how YOU would have reacted in his place.

  2. Great review of a very straightforward race until lap 64.

    I, for one, welcome this pitstop blunder by Mercedes. IMO, Lewis is going to finish the year as triple champion, mistakes or not. He’s the most capable of doing it, and he has the better of Rosberg anyway. This spices things up, just like Monaco 2014 did.

    At least Lewis can return home knowing his car is as strong as ever and he nailed the weekend, which wasn’t looking that good after Q2.

    And this brings a huge story too. 2 weeks of asking ourselves why. Why Mercedes risked it all doing this. It wasn’t the best Monaco GP, you can’t expect much from the tight confines of a street track like this one, but it threw an unpredictable result and revived the championship a little bit more.

    Can’t wait until Canada ! all this drama at a place which usually throws a great race? Bring it on !

    1. I agree. Anything that makes Hamiltons procession to the title even a little bit more interesting is a plus in my book. Sure the result is hard on Hamilton, and he deserved the win, but no one can say it didn’t transform the race and make the last few laps highly entertaining.

    2. Yeah.. Agreed. Unless something catastrophic happens.. Lewis has the title in the bag… Seb, Nicole and Kimi may win the odd race.. But that’s it’s. The only person who can challenge Lewis is Nico, and he’s isn’t proving to be good enough.

      1. Nicole? Did I read that right?

        1. Nico’s sister. She’ll be driving next race.

    3. Why are we assuming that he is a shoo-in for the title. A 27 point lead would have insured him from a retirement. But now a retirement or two would be disastrous to him if his teammate doesn’t suffer the same fate. Also, I find it hard to believe he isn’t questioning his team’s competence after costing him two race wins. And yes, I do consider Malaysia a mighty blunder by Mercedes. What the heck were they pitting for that early?

      1. The fact that he built up that 27 point lead to begin with means he could overcome a DNF or two over the rest of the season.

      2. @deidunxf1 the fact that the car is still by far the best and that in 6 races he was only beaten fair and square by Nico once makes me believe this will still be a walk in the park for Lewis.

        It’s a safe bet. He has everything to win it.

    4. Yes, this is definitely good for the championship @fer-no65, exactly because @deidunxf1 you are right, now he does have to keep fighting for it – not great comfort to him, but, we all know he can most likely build that gap again, as he did last year, and this year in the first races.

  3. I marvel at the need for some people to always find a way to blame Hamilton for whatever error or driving incidences that involve him. Sometimes, it is understandable because fans will always be fans but in such issues as this, those who feel the need to blame Hamilton for an error which was made entirely by his team are up to no good.

    No driver drives into d pits without information or the team calling him in. Mercedes have details and data on the performance of Hamilton’s car, tyres included, as well as a ton of other information that is not available to the driver.

    The decision to pit Hamilton no matter what he said, lies squarely with the team, after all Hamilton’s tyres were a few laps fresher than those of Vettel and Nico.

    They knew that Lewis can only ask to be pitted with the assumption that those two had pitted. There is no way in the world that Hamilton can ask to pit, having been fitted with fresher tyres than Nico and Vettel, knowing that those two have not done same.

    So to turn around and say, somehow Lewis is responsible for asking to pit is very irresponsible and frankly not sincere at all.

    1. @tata I think you’ve gone the other way too far. Only Lewis can tell the team how the tyres are behaving and he definetly can say something to Mercedes if they decide to pit him. He’s the one that needed to defend track position and he was the only one that could tell if his tyres were in good enough condition to do that.

      Of course, only Mercedes know the situation around Lewis in terms of track position, and the reactions of rival teams. So the major responsability lies on them, no question about it.

      And I’m not saying Lewis said nothing to the pitwall. Nor I’m saying that he’s at fault. But surely, SOME input came from the driver.

      It’d not be the first time Lewis made a bad call. Last year at Interlagos he spun out pushing too hard on old tyres. He was the one that got feedback from the tyres, so he was the only one that knew how fast and how long he could continue on that set, regardless of what his side of the pitwall planned. And 2 years ago, he also made the mistake (he admitted it) to not pit just after the SC came out, and he then had to wait behind Nico, while Vettel and Webber got his position.

      Again. I’m no Lewis fan nor a Lewis hater. Totally neutral, and I actually wanted him to win, he deserved it. But I’m just guessing, he surely had something to do with this decision aswell.

      1. Yep, you’re just guessing without even a thimble full of information or data to back up what is nothing more than pure fantasy. A horrific decision by a badly run team with a dominant car. I will try to believe that these issues that started around this time last season are pure coincidence for now.

    2. @tata I think you’ve gone the other way too far. Only Lewis can tell the team how the tyres are behaving and he definetly can say something to Mercedes if they decide to pit him. He’s the one that needed to defend track position and he was the only one that could tell if his tyres were in good enough condition to do that.

      Of course, only Mercedes know the situation around Lewis in terms of track position, and the reactions of rival teams. So the major responsability lies on them, no question about it.

      And I’m not saying Lewis said nothing to the pitwall. Nor I’m saying that he’s at fault. But surely, SOME input came from the driver.

      It’d not be the first time Lewis made a bad call. Last year at Interlagos he spun out pushing too hard on old tyres. He was the one that got feedback from the tyres, so he was the only one that knew how fast and how long he could continue on that set, regardless of what his side of the pitwall planned. And 2 years ago, he also made the mistake (he admitted it) to not pit just after the SC came out, and he then had to wait behind Nico, while Vettel and Webber got his position.

      Again. I’m totally neutral about Lewis, and I actually wanted him to win, he deserved it. But I’m just guessing, he surely had something to do with this decision aswell.

      1. Totally agree @fer-no65, he should’ve asked – not asumed, but of course this track needs a lot of concentration from the driver. The Merc pitwall forgot to compute the time Lewis lost behind the safetycar relative to Rosberg and Vettel.

      2. I’m just guessing, he surely had something to do with this decision aswell.

        Lewis suggested pitting for fresh tyres. That’s it.

        Now, what should Mercedes do?
        They should give him info on tyres and track position in regard to his rivals.
        They should inform him if there is a serious risk of losing track position.
        They should check if retaining track position is possible.
        Only then they should make the decision.

        If the driver suggests pulling into the pits and his team says “OK”, then the driver has every reason to think that “OK” means “OK”, that this decision won’t destroy his race.

    3. The seeds of what happened were planted when Lewis saw the Merc pit crew on the TV and thought they had pit Nico. That’s why he inquired about how his tyres would be cold after the safety car, as he assumed Nico would end up right behind him on fresh supersoft tyres (vs Lewis’ old softs) after the safety car. But Nico hadn’t pitted – this whole thing wouldn’t have happened if the Monaco race director hadn’t shown the Merc pit crew standing outside. The only thing Lewis really did wrong was mistakenly thinking that the shot of the Mercedes pit crew standing outside the garage meant that they had pitted Rosberg.

      Even with Lewis inquiring about tyres, the final call to pit came from the team, allegedly about 500 metres before the pit entry. Toto said their timing data was off by 3.5 seconds. Ted Kravitz explained that the live timing said the gap was 21.5s before Lewis came in, but the actual gap (shown on the TV screens) was 18s. Lewis had caught up to the safety car in the third sector of the lap, and so he was slowed down and lost time to Rosberg/Vettel – it is assumed that they didn’t account for this in their simulation.

      1. One thing I was wondering about though, is why the Mercedes pit crew were standing in the pit lane in the first place. I imagine they were just getting ready in case a last-minute call was made, but since Vettel was never going to pit (he would’ve lost track position) there was no reason for Merc to need to pit. Even if Hamilton had enough of a gap, was it worth risking a potential problem with a wheel etc.? If they stayed out it was practically guaranteed that Hamilton would’ve won the race.

        1. I just want to point out that all of the drivers in the race relayed information to their teams about the state of their tires after Verstappen’s crash, not just Hamilton. Vettel complained vociferously about the state of his tires, “Look, this is like swimming with weights on my legs and feet,” yet Ferrari decided not to call him into the pits. What Vettel said here sounds much more like a demand to be pitted for fresh tires than anything Hamilton said to Mercedes. In comparison, Hamilton relayed mere details and nothing more.

          Hamilton providing information to his team about the state of his tires is what he was supposed to do, the team in turn was supposed to use that information as an important detail among the many other important details that they were aware of–the vast majority of which was not known to Hamilton–to assess and then instruct Hamilton what to do next. The blame for that most horrendous call to pit Hamilton lies squarely on the shoulders of Mercedes AMG F1. Hamilton is entirely 100% free from blame. If Hamilton had demanded to be called into the pits, then the blame would in fact be his, but that is not what happened. He relayed information because he thought that he was going to lose not only his advantage of a 20-second gap to Rosberg and Vettel, but also his advantage with respect to tires, as well. He was on the fresher set of tires as compared to the other two drivers who were directly behind him in the race, so it was normal for him to expect to remain on the fresher set.

          And this leads to the final point I want to make: Hamilton taking care to share the blame with his team for the call is nothing more than a gesture of continued faith and good will towards his team. It is not that Hamilton actually believes that he is also one to blame for the call, but his gesture was made completely to avoid his team having a complete meltdown. For a moment, imagine having just signed the most important and lucrative contract of your career in Formula 1, what would you have done in his circumstances?

          Of course, I don’t know exactly how Hamilton perceives what has happened, but the important known details of his current situation with Mercedes AMG F1 is that his signature is still wet on the three-year contract that he has just signed with the team. There is a lot at stake. Would any one of us want to see a new multi-million dollar venture go up in smoke due to a single bad call, no matter how much it cost towards the championship? I know that if I were still willing and able to drive, I wouldn’t.

          Hamilton agreeing to shoulder some of the blame that cost him the race was simply something that he had to do. If not for the matter of his new contract, he most likely would have reacted and responded like many of us would have, if we were robbed of something of great value and immeasurable importance. Lewis Hamilton has to let Monaco go. It is all he can do because it has already been taken away from him.

          Personally, I cannot be as composed as Hamilton has been about all of this. Frankly, I’m furious about what happened to him today. I could not be more upset. But I am also a Hamilton fan and my current disposition is to be expected. For me, it is a shame that Hamilton has to take a loss like this on the chin. He did everything right and still lost the race because his team apparently made what may very well be the most egregious error of his career, so far. Hamilton lost not only the race, but also a combined total of 27 points to Rosberg and Vettel. That is a mighty expensive bitter pill to swallow. And yet if he wants to remain in top form, he has to accept what has happened and move on because moving forward as fast as one can is what a race car drive is supposed to do. If, as Martin Brundle stated, Hamilton is a winning machine, he has to get on with it because the race to the 2015 championship is not over. He cannot afford to dwell on the matter.

          The thing is, as a fan, neither can I afford to dwell because I continue to love Hamilton for his achievements and the sport for its enduring interest. Dwelling on the matter would mean that I would lose both things.

          Thanks for listening.

          1. Great post. You know what, I agree 100%. There have been so many people saying crap like “it was Hamilton’s fault”, and I was try to take a balanced view despite being a Hamilton fan. But you’re right about other drivers like Vettel relaying info about their tyres. Hamilton didn’t really do anything he shouldn’t have.

            I found what happened to Hamilton incredibly painful as well, I really wanted him to win Monaco, considering the tough time he has had here since ’08, and how special the track is to him given that he idolises Senna. After Monaco 2014, I was annoyed about the circumstances of how he lost, but just sighed and thought “oh well, next year”. He came back and did everything right. But now he has to wait another year to have a chance at winning Monaco again, and there are no guarantees about having the best car again next year. I thought Hamilton did a very good job to act the way he did after what happened, I just felt like storming out of the room after what happened. Even after a night’s sleep I still feel numb and angry.

          2. At what time did Seb say the swimming quote? If it was after Lewis joined behind him, there is no way Ferrari would have pitted him. If he had said just as they were going to be collected by the SC, there might have been a chance.

            Mercedes would have looked like geniuses if Lewis got in front with a pitstop and fresh SS tires. Considering Lewis joined just behind Nico, Seb; it does look like the correct decision albeit one handicapped by the SC/Manor.

          3. At what time did Seb say the swimming quote?

            Well into the safety car phase, it was more of a hurry-up to Bernd Mailander.


          4. Seb’s comment was shortly before the restart when the lapped cars were passing the safety car, even with a delayed broadcast it would only have been 1 lap earlier at most. He felt that the safety car was going too slowly causing the tyres to lose temperature, it was not a request or even query if he should pit it was a message aimed at Charlie Whiting concerning the speed of the safety car he wanted it to drive faster so that the drivers could get temperature back in to their tyres.

          5. @mike-dee @anon Thank you. I thought so that way as well. So it was a case of Hamilton trying to be too smart for his own good and paying the price for it.

        2. @polo I saw them too and was thinking that they were trying a dummy pit stop but WHY did they even consider a pit stop?

        3. Probably standard procedure if there is a SC

        4. My biggest issue with the pitstop call is what you said “was it worth risking a potential problem with a wheel etc.?”. The level of risk involved in this was absurd and the call to go ahead with the gamble even more absurd.

        5. I think the Mercedes pit crew were not standing out in the pit lane. I think what Hamilton actually saw was a shot of the McLaren pit crew, who also wear black.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            25th May 2015, 15:34

            I just don’t understand why folks would ever blame Lewis who is busy driving on the most difficult circuit while dealing a safety car. If you want the guy to run Merc’s strategy department at the same time.

            It appears to me that Lewis almost lost his lead in Bahrain, got a bad pitstop in Spain that screwed his race and lost a race at Monaco. 3 out of 3 so far.

            Now that’s a real record that makes Nico’s 3 victories (1 the joke of F1 for the next 50 years) much more common.

            The strategist may feel that he’s fair but he’s just lying to himself…

    4. But when it’s a good strategy (like Jenson in Melbourne and Shanghai 2010), everybody lauds the driver, not the team.

    5. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      25th May 2015, 9:46

      Lewis said himself he was to quick to go into the pit. He should have questioned the team more first. It is more his fault than the teams. The team are just trying to absorb the majority of the blame on his behalf so the press don’t give him a hard time and let that destabilize him further.

    6. @tata

      I marvel at the need for some people to always find a way to blame Hamilton for whatever error or driving incidences that involve him.

      Where have I done that?

      1. @keithcollantine On top of that I have missed any comment where anyone claimed this was Hamilton his fault.

      2. @keithcollantine I actually laughed when I read your reply implying that I was referring to you. Not all.

        In fact on the contrary, you have only increasingly become more and more objective than anyone could be with the way you run this website. And for that reason, this is increasingly the most popular F1 destination for fans. As an F1 fan, I wonder how you manage to stay as neutral as possible.

        That part of my opinion u quoted was merely reffering to those who now see Hamilton as responsible for the error judging that he relayed the same tyre info that so many other drivers relayed to their pitwalls.

        Your writeup on the matter is impeccable. Keep up the good work.

  4. Rosberg was commendably correct and seems to stand firmly on the ground instead of having his head up in the sky. He knows he has to improve and here I can only echo today’s COTD, and worry about the championship despite the lifeline it got this weekend.

  5. I don’t think that we will ever get all the facts that led to the decision for Lewis to pit. Decisions were made, both by Lewis and the pit in the heat of the moment and, from time to time, as in this case, mistakes will be made.
    Lewis “thought” that Nico and Seb had pitted, by “glancing” at the big screens around the track. The pit “thought” they had enough time to bring Lewis in, change tires and still send him off ahead of Nico.

    That’s motor racing. Decisions are made in a split second. Sometimes they will get it wrong.

    Too bad for Lewis, as he was dominating the field this weekend. Lessons to be learned, indeed.

    As for the Verstapen/Grojan crash, something very odd happened. The speed differential between the two cars at the moment of the crash was way too high. Either Grojan braked tested Max or the 17 year old totally missed the braking point and was on a kamikaze move. Very odd.

    1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      25th May 2015, 9:51

      Grosgean clearly brake tested Max, I’m amazed there was no prior enquiry into grosgean driving dangerously.

      1. Max said he braked at exactly the same point as the lap before, maybe Grosjean was trying to look after his brakes, and felt the need to be a lot more cautious with them than the lap before.

  6. Yeah Lewis is still the man to beat and nobody knows that better than Nico. But Nico does have Spain to still play off of. I don’t think we need take the next 2 weeks, nor claim we will never know the whole truth, when it seems obvious already from what we’ve been told that Lewis and the team made a mistake or two. Lewis said they win and lose as a team, so we should not isolate blame to one side or the other. Both LH and his side made a few assumptions, and were wrong in their math/reality. End of. A perfect storm that likely will not repeat itself any time soon.

    I was fascinated to read that Max was not actually attempting a pass there. He sure looked to be overcooking it, or was that just that he was forced to lock up early? At the same time, if RG did brake early I do allow for the odd behavior under braking that these current cars can show. Perhaps RG was just dealing with a sub-par car and it’s ERS/braking. And it was Max they saw as the wrongdoer for reasons they would have considered thoroughly. We all saw that Max was heavily engaged in dealing with RG.

  7. The picture of Nico with his trophy is a great example why white racing suits are not a very good idea.

    1. @bcracing

      Nico – “It’s a sweat stain!”

      “Sure Nico, Sure.”

    2. Erm, where do you think they pee if they need to, it probably is what it looks like.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        25th May 2015, 11:33

        Yeah they all pee during the race if they need to. I recall many years ago reading a quote from a team member that had worked with Ralf Schumacher that suggested he’d frequently “leave the cockpit in a huge mess”, which in the context it was said, seemed to insinuate he did number two’s, and was the only driver to do so….

  8. Mercedes mistake sure made the race more fun. Of course Hamilton is going to win many more races and more than likely WDC. Good to see that there is still room for human error.

    1. Or was it deliberate – to spice up an otherwise boring Sunday-drive 2014/2015 domination to the WDC? No Bernie, NR & SV aren’t the issues. The +1 sec/per lap lack of competition is

      1. Or was it deliberate

        Please leave F1Fanatic…

        1. @xtwl Calm down lemming

  9. Ian Laidler (@)
    25th May 2015, 5:45

    First of all, congratulations to Nico on 3 consecutive wins in Monaco, regardless of how this latest win came about it is a terrific achievement from a very talented driver.

    As a big Lewis fan I am disappointed in the way the race win was taken away from him but the way he handled himself was a complete contrast to the Lewis of early 2014, well done Lewis for showing some real sportsmanship in a very difficult situation.

    I will be the first to admit that during 2014 Lewis made some serious mistakes and they cost him dearly at times, but to sit here and read the absolute drivel written by some people who actually blame Lewis for losing the race is dumbfounding, do these armchair critics actually know anything about F1.

    Both Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have said publicly that Mercedes lost the race for Lewis yesterday, yet a number of cretins out there still want to blame Lewis.
    Lewis has 2 World Champioships to their zero, the record speaks for itself.

  10. In 2008 lewis was lucky, he won the Gp due to a driving error which made him pit at the perfect moment. It was the first thing that came to my mind when he lost this race. F1karma is hard in, especially in Monaco.

  11. mongoose dog
    25th May 2015, 7:19

    well, that is a wonderful chance for Rosberg and Hamilton to recover some lost friendship grounds, as it was out of their hands, and they both understand it.

  12. Paddy celebrating Nico’s win despite him being in charge of the pitwall really shows how inexperienced/stupid he is in terms of analysing situations. Surely by the time Lewis entered the pitlane they must have known that he had lost 3s behind the SC and should have just waved him through there and then. What the heck is Bonnington’s job though if he doesn’t have any say as to when his driver can pit?

  13. Yesterday’s blunder was significant because it cost Hamilton a net seventeen points in his title race with Nico, and Mercedes have been dealt a publicity crisis (today’s Telegraph runs the headline “Lewis Hamilton’s dream victory shattered by Mercedes’ strategy blunder”). But though Mercedes have been globally humiliated, they will know that the internal situation remains the key to moving on from yesterday. Mercedes can comfort Lewis with two things:

    (1) It was a perfect storm. At any other track, even Hungary or Barcelona, warm, fresh supersofts would have still handed Lewis the victory. The FIA’s strange decision not to use the VSC was also central. In the GP2 feature race the VSC handed an almost free pitstop to Stoffel Vandoorne and Alexander Rossi, so it must have been planned to make a precautionary stop if a VSC was called.

    (2) He practically won the race. He conquered a track that had given him a very difficult time in the past, and in my view the mental strength he showed in qualifying only confirms the strong likelihood of a third world title. In many ways it was one of the strongest weekends of his career. Calm down, carry on, and win the next one.

  14. Well, i’m glad they signed the contract before this race; Hamilton was clearly frustrated because of how things unfolded and although he tried to keep it together you could see several signs of him about to blow up.
    Hope this will help him grow up and mature.

  15. Although I’m far from Hamilton’s biggest fan (I think he’s contributed an unnecessary amount to wasting his undoubted talent over the years), my interpretation of those who are laying some blame at his door for the decision to pit are off the mark.

    Hamilton’s feedback to the engineer before the decision to pit, that his tyres were unusually cold and that he had no grip, was entirely appropriate. In fact, it was consistent with the same feedback given by Rosberg. Hamilton could not know the gap behind him nor calculate whether there was enough time to pit – that’s a decision in which he needs to place trust in the team. Only they have all the necessary data available but, even taking that into account, as demonstrated at this race they are still capable of making an incorrect decision.

    I thought Rosberg’s reaction was more or less appropriate. He knows that he was behind Hamilton all weekend, but what driver wouldn’t take the gift of a win when presented like that? He did nothing wrong and I don’t think there’s any question at all of giving back the place should Hamilton have been able to get past Vettell.

    Hamilton’s reaction was better than I expected. Although I generally have pretty low expectations of how he conducts himself in the media I’ve learned over the years that the image on show, whether you like it or not, really is just him. He said all the right things, whether he believed or meant them, and I think is more than ever now able to put a bad weekend behind him and move on.

    On a completely separate note, I’d like to put in a plea to call for fewer of the artificially raised sausage kerbs in F1. This sounds like a lot of ifs and maybes, but I was struck at the speed at which Verstappen crossed the kerb before hitting the barrier. The five marshals behind the barrier had no fence protection at all, and if that kerb had been more raised then Verstappen could easily have flown over the barrier right in to them, head on. That is a lot of ifs and maybes, but these kerbs are appearing everywhere now. If they launch a car into the air then the chances are that the retaining barrier will be wire fence and not a proper crash retarding barrier. I’d like to see F1 learn from a catastrophe that didn’t happen and review their use of these kerbs, perhaps with stricter enforcement of track limits instead.

  16. You know, I don’t want to offend anyone…..but all this talk that Mercedes should make Rosberg lose a race (Canada for example) to give Hamilton the win he ‘should have had’ in Monaco is just plain silly. It really does sound like Hamilton fans have got their knickers in a twist because their favourite driver lost a race thanks to a blunder in team strategy. And if anyone thinks its bad here, Twitter is worse. The crying over there by Hamilton fans could fill the Pacific.

    Nico Rosberg did nothing more than be in the right place at the right time. He didn’t make Hamilton pit when he shouldn’t have, he had nothing to do with it. Why punish him for something that was not even his doing?

    And besides, Mercedes still won. In the end that is all the team cares about. They don’t give a toss whether Rosberg or Hamilton wins, so long as one of them does. And if the other finishes at least second or third then even better.

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