Mercedes are “bloody worried” about their Monaco performance

2018 Monaco Grand Prix

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F1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton says the Monaco Grand Prix is likely to be a “difficult weekend” for Mercedes.

Neither of the team’s cars finished on the podium in last year’s race on the Monte-Carlo street circuit. Hamilton failed to make the cut for Q3 and finished seventh.

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff said the aftermath of last year’s Monaco Grand Prix was not pleasant for the team and he is “bloody worried” about how they will perform this weekend.

“In the last years there was always tracks that suited us well and some that we weren’t perfect for whatever reason,” he said. “It’s very difficult to undo the DNA of the car. Monaco, Budapest, Singapore were all tracks where we underperformed a lot last year.”

Wolff admitted the team doesn’t fully understand why its car performs less well at slower circuits.

“Why our car doesn’t like to be quick around the corners in Monaco we haven’t found out yet,” he said. “[But] we know what went wrong last year.”

Hamilton said the team may have to resign itself to banking points on a weekend where it might not be contenders for victory.

“We know it’s probably going to be a difficult weekend. We know the others could be quicker than us, potentially. But we might be surprised, we might not be [uncompetitive].

“We’ll just prepare ourselves in the best way we can. Whatever we’re faced with, we’ll take it. As you can see this year you can still get great points in races even though you don’t win. It’s a long way to go still. We’ll be focused on getting the maximum from the weekend regardless of whether we’re fastest or not.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 29 comments on “Mercedes are “bloody worried” about their Monaco performance”

    1. What more proof do we need that Toto is talking to Ricciardo about a seat next year ;)

      1. Why?? I don’t see how you can jump to that conclusion from what Toto is saying here…..

      2. I don’t get it @coldfly

        1. “bloody” colloquialism is more typically used in Australia; it’s seen as more offensive in the UK.
          @m-bagattini, @buffy

          1. @coldfly Oh wow!

          2. It’s seen as offensive in the UK? Since when? The ‘c’ word is hardly seen as offensive here.

          3. “bloody” colloquialism is more typically used in Australia; it’s seen as more offensive in the UK

            That’s just not true :/

          4. @coldfly strewth mate! that is a serious leap. fark’n oath!

          5. Fair suck of the sav cobber!

          6. @coldfly, it sounds more like a turn of phrase that Wolff would have picked up off from his wife Susie than from Ricciardo. I presume that your post was meant in jest, because otherwise it is a bit of a stretch to say that, because he used that particular phrase, he must have been talking to Ricciardo (particularly since I’ve not noticed Ricciardo use that phrase that frequently).

    2. A little overstatement, Toto.

      1. He’s the master at that.

    3. Knowing full well that Mercedes’ full & terrifically in depth car performance analysis, is close to second to none. I’m sincerely hoping that this is just the full on, professional sandbagging from Toto & Lewis. Fingers crossed as always from me for Mercedes!

    4. I don’t remember exactly anymore but I don’t think Lewis was out of Q2 because of a lack of pace rather than a red flag or yellow created by Vandoorne his crash? Also Bottas wasn’t even a full tenth off pole. Considering pole is 80% of the job at Monaco I’d say that’s not something to worry. Especially since this year Ferrari has a longer wheelbase as well.

      Hamilton his main rival remains Vettel, and in the teams it’s also very much still Ferrari. So it wouldn’t be the worst if Red Bull is ahead of both from a Mercedes POV.

      That being said Toto doing nothing more than being Toto since 2014 ‘we don’t know we’ve got the best car’.

      1. Toto doing nothing more than being Toto since 2014 ‘we don’t know we’ve got the best car’

        LOL @flatsix and +1 to Toto being Toto saying Toto things.

      2. I seem to remember Ferrari being slower than Merc in the tight sections at Barcelona. I may be wrong about that though. However if that was the case then it may be that Redbull fly but Merc still outperform Ferrari.

        1. SparkyAMG (@)
          21st May 2018, 12:33

          As per the article about Red Bull on this site, the fastest sectors were as follows:

          Ricciardo, Vettel, Verstappen, Bottas, Hamilton, Raikkonen

          Mercedes of course set their fastest laps on the softer tyres which have always had a tendency to ‘go-off’ by the final sector in Barcelona. It could go either way.

      3. SparkyAMG (@)
        21st May 2018, 12:21

        I think you’re right that last year wasn’t as bad for Mercedes as they’ll have you make out. They did struggle with getting the tyres into the right window on Hamilton’s car, but it was having to abort his lap in Q2 that ultimately cost him the most that weekend.

        Ultimately it’s not relevant with regards to what will happen this weekend and I think Toto is just trying to manage expectations. I think Red Bull in particular will be strong in Monaco and will probably have the legs on the red and silver cars.

      4. @flatsix just imagine if Kyalami Made a return and there was a dubious weather forecast- we’d have toto sayin toto things about the rains down in aaaaafricaaa

        1. @mrboerns – Good one! The 80s want their references back tho

      5. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        21st May 2018, 21:29


        On Hamilton’s first timed lap after his outlap, both him and Bottas did a time about 5 seconds off the pace. Then after this Bottas did a 1.12.9 and Hamilton did a 1.14.1. At this stage, Bottas was just 0.121 off the quickest time and had actually done the fastest first sector. Then Hamilton boxed. He then did his outlap, started his next lap then aborted it himself. He then had the chance to do his next run on the following lap. Hamilton’s engineer then says on the start of this lap, “you can’t afford to back off too much. Need to get all these laps in” As if he knew that anything could happen to prevent Hamilton getting through as he was only 14th. He fails to improve at all yet again on this lap. His engineer tells him he’s only got one more chance. Then Vandoorne crashed. Given Hamilton had done 3 timed runs and had the chance to do 4 and failed to get within 1.2 seconds of Bottas I think shows his pace was lacking more than just being unlucky with Vandoorne crashing. To add to the negative points about Hamilton that day, he held Kvyat and Magnussen up rather badly as they both specifically complained about Hamilton holding them up. It just wasn’t a good day for Hamilton pace wise I think. But that is pretty rare.

        Even if we look at Hamilton’s final run in more detail, it did not look clean. By the end of the 2nd sector, he was only 2 tenths faster than Perez had been at this stage of the lap. And Perez ended up 9th. And given how many cars had to abort their final runs, even if Hamilton had completed his, he may have still been out of the top 10. He just looked uncomfortable with it all of that session.

    5. They won 4 of the last 5 at Monaco. 3 of the last 5 at Singapore. 2 out of the last 5 at Hungaroring. 9 out of these 15 is not shabby, and makes this hand-wringing seem a bit much.

    6. Both Mercedes and their fans seem to think that being a tenth slower than pole is somehow a disaster.

      1. @kingshark it absolutely is in Monaco and when you are fighting for a championship!

    7. More like bloody worried….that they will end up 1-3 instead of 1-2.

    8. So essentially what?

      He is worried they might not have a half a second advantage over everyone else?

      1. Oh forgot to mention. Hamilton is also under-performing in Monaco. Pretty much there goes 2-3 tenths of their performance.

        If they had a Ricciardo in the other car man… that’d be good for them.

    9. True, most likely they will get 3rd – 7th position, unlikely to win this Monaco race.
      This year Merc encountering higher competition level from Ferrari and Red Bull, so no surprise on this.

      1. Don’t underestimate mercedes! I really don’t mind a well fought championship between 3 teams, in fact as I’m not a fan of any current driver or team, that’s my main hope, but red bull still have to deliver with their good chassis, this is their chance, let’s see if they can even beat the other 2 teams on a track which is the least power dependant, and ferrari, no matter how strong they were at some races, they were always able to throw away races with bad strategies, so really, never rule mercedes out.

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