Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2021

Hamilton says Mercedes under-performed all weekend after losing points lead

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton admitted Mercedes had not performed at the level they were capable of after finishing seventh in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen won the race and took the lead in the championship from Hamilton.

The Mercedes driver started the race from seventh place but immediately moved up to sixth as pole-winner Charles Leclerc failed to start. He followed Pierre Gasly closely through the first stint, and Mercedes brought him in early in an attempt to get ahead of the AlphaTauri.

But the attempt was not successful – Gasly made his pit stop on the next lap and came out ahead of Hamilton. Making matters worse, Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez ran longer than the pair and came out ahead of both of them.

Hamilton rued the timing of his pit stop, which he said cost him “three places”, and said he will discuss it with his team afterwards.

“We’ll do all our talking in the background and we’ll work together and try and come out of this stronger,” said Hamilton in the television pen after the race. “We underperformed as a team all weekend from the get-go so we’ll just put our focus onto the next race. Congratulations to Max and his team, they did a great job.”

After taking the chequered flag Hamilton drove back to the pits without speaking. His race engineer Peter Bonnington told him: “Tough day mate, sorry about that.

“A bit of a shit weekend all ’round. We’ll come back stronger, just need to do an autopsy on this one and learn.”

Following the race Hamilton admitted he is doubtful how competitive Mercedes will be at the next race in Baku.

“It’s another Red Bull track so it’ll be hard to beat them there. But we’ll try our best. I can’t see it being hugely dissimilar except for the long straights where usually Ferrari are a little bit down.”

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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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57 comments on “Hamilton says Mercedes under-performed all weekend after losing points lead”

  1. People on social media and Reddit have already been deriding Hamilton for his attitude. I find that shameful. This is precisely why Hamilton is usually very boring in his interviews; because he knows that he’s being judged very harshly. I personally love it when Hamilton speaks his mind, it shows some character.
    From what I gather, on Saturday, the team didn’t follow his directions in regards to his set-up and on Sunday the team implemented the worst strategy. I think Hamilton is right to be upset. He has a championship to win.

    1. It’s interesting how when he’s talking about RB’s rear wing he’s being ‘manipulated by the team’, but when he offers some constructive criticism then he’s an awful team player

      1. He is not a great team player . You don’t throw them under the bus for one race when they literally carried you to all the wins. That’s not how teams work..

        1. “We’ll do all our talking in the background and we’ll work together and try and come out of this stronger,” said Hamilton in the television pen after the race. “We underperformed as a team all weekend from the get-go so we’ll just put our focus onto the next race. Congratulations to Max and his team, they did a great job.”

          where did he throw them under the bus, he said his frustration clearly after the race, and during the race he said nothing of degrading or insulting or any foul language!

          here is a gentleman for you guys that you enjoy listening his gentlemanly acts and talks.

          1. Well, he did throw them under the bus


  2. He’s not wrong about them under performing. To be behind more than just Red Bull is a surprise.

    However I disagree with him at Baku. I can see Mercedes back as favourites again, even without their Monaco set back (as they always respond to an off weekend).

    1. He’s partly wrong; Bottas was on course for a solid 2nd place well ahead of both Sainz and Pérez (never mind Alpha Tauri and Aston Martin) and until his disastrous pitstop. But it’s still just one race in a long season, and on a unique track. No reason for Hamilton to get too concerned about this.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    23rd May 2021, 16:56

    Comes across a little like they’re so used to winning and everything falling into place that on the few, rare occasions it doesn’t they kinda implode even harder than the others. It was just a naff weekend for Mercedes on the whole, sure it’s super rare for them but its just one weekend out of many. They’ll be back at the front next race 100%.

    Also worth pointing out that when Red Bull fail, and they will, they undoubtedly will fall far harder than Mercedes did today.

    1. Guessing you might be talking about reliability but honestly doing worse than a 7th place is hard when you’re fighting for the title.

  4. I’m sorry Lewis, but I really don’t agree. The only real thing that Mercedes did wrong this weekend was the thing that affected Bottas’ car.

    In qualifying, Mercedes were probably the third-quickest car, but I think we all expected them to be slower than Red Bull, and Ferrari suddenly being on pole was more down to their better showing than problems for Mercedes and Red Bull. Valtteri Bottas was third on the grid, which is where I would expect Mercedes to be. So that, I’m afraid, is down to Lewis Hamilton in my books. (He did say there was a setup change, but I don’t know how much that made a difference).

    And there was nothing wrong with the timing of the pitstop. I think Martin Brundle said that Hamilton’s out-lap was slower than Gasly’s in-lap when he pitted. So if Hamilton had done a quicker lap, he would have jumped Gasly, and then if he had kept up that pace, Vettel and Perez would not have been able to jump him. Unless I missed something (was there a backmarker at the time of the pitstop?), I don’t see how this is an error on Mercedes’ behalf.

    I am not a Hamilton-hater; in my opinion he is quite possibly the greatest driver of all time. But on this particular weekend, he was very poor, and Mercedes were not to blame for the bad result.

  5. Cars matter..

    1. Black cars matters.

      1. That’s hilarious :)

  6. Right up there with Hungary 2015, Germany 2019, Sakhir 2020. A weekend where Mercedes have the pace to win but screws up royally*. Its ok, hopefully no more howlers after this.

    *I say Merc had pace to win because is if you add up Bottas’ 3 best sectors from qualifying (18.489 + 33.041 + 18.790 = 70.320) , it totals up to a time faster than Leclerc’s pole position (70.346).

  7. The only Mercedes driver that is allowed to complaint is Bottas.

    Hamilton himself screwed up his weekend both in qualifying and the race.
    Qualifying was just bad, far behind Bottas despite no problems/issues.
    Race he screwed up the in lap and laps after his pitstop. Yes Mercedes called him in too early however after his pitstop he was in free air till Gasly pitted and got out just before him. Lewis should have been closer to Gasly before his pitstop (=inlap) and should have done much better on his out lap to under cut Gasly.

    On Dutch TV when asked what he and Mercedes could learn from this weekend his arrogant answer was: “Me nothing and the team a lot”.

    1. Usually yes, but today overcut was by far a better strategy then undercut. Just look at Perez, Vettel and Stroll. By pitting first of everyone else in the grid, Hamilton lost out.

    2. Hamilton was the comedian of the weekend.

    3. Yes, if it was just Ham and Gasly. You would still be talking nonsense but there could have been a logic to your point. But as Gasly was then overcut by Seb, who was then passed by Perez you just come across as not very bright.

    4. I saw the Dutch TV interview. I personally think its a disgusting way to treat the team that has given you all those world championships.

    5. Stop the posting.


    6. *facepalm*

    7. “Me nothing and the team a lot”.

      Would like to see that, is there a link, a YouTube or something?

      Speaks Wikipedias about the fellow, but nothing new, really.

    8. Stop it all.

      Come on

  8. Lewis was fully blaming his team on Dutch TV, he said he couldn’t do better himself

    1. If he felt that way why wouldn’t he say so? Seriously, in the last 5 years how many times has Hamilton underperformed? It’s much more likely that Mercedes underperfomed and set up up his car wrongly.
      People just to love to jump on Hamilton with every chance they get.

      1. I actually like this a lot when drivers speak their mind. But it’s a remarks comment.

        1. Remarkable *

      2. @carbon_fibre It’s a team sport. The driver is just a tip of the iceberg. As they say, adversity reveals character. Such comments will always rub me the wrong way, no matter who makes them. I don’t like it whether it’s Fernando, Yuki, Lewis, or anyone else. Nobody questions Lewis’ ability to drive the car, his consistency is remarkable. But he could have just as easily taken ownership of his poor weekend and said some cliché such as “we win as a team, we lose as a team” or “I should have qualified higher” etc. His team would love him for that. Afaik, that isn’t the case. We know that the car had pace from Valtteri’s lap times.

        And to your point, he has every right to say whatever he wants, just as we as fans have every right to think whatever we want about the things he says. Most of us have our favorite driver, I don’t want to take that away from anybody, it makes us more invested in the sport and more exciting to watch. I’m just saying Lewis’ behavior in hardship is a big reason why I am not a fan. Same with Fernando.

        1. Oh man, didn’t hear it, but that’s something that can really mess up the spirits within the team.
          Imagine you are one of the people working on Lewis’ car, doing your best all weekend, being down already for the loss of Bottss his race and then hearing this from a person who qualified well down of his teammate with same machinery.
          Teamplayer? Not so much.

          Me thinks Lewis is already starting to lose the mental game…

      3. @carbon_fibre literally 3 races ago he drove off the road and crashed his wing in his panic to get out

  9. It’s another Red Bull track

    Oh lord, here we go again… Mercedes 1-2 in 2019, Mercedes would have been a 1-2 if not for a puncture in 2018, and again if not for a dodgy headrest in 2017.

    What world does this guy live in where Mercedes doesn’t have the advantage on nearly every track? So sick of hearing the woe is me narrative. Of course it’s his miraculous driving that’s won them all.

    1. @skipgamer Huh?! In the past seasons absolutely! But what does it have to do with this year? Even you have to admit Redbulls are right there or better on power tracks this season.

      1. Disagree, look at portugal especially, red bull seems to be down on power compared to merc.

  10. Well well, consistency and reliability fate has now swing to Red Bull ever since patronizing Mercedes from 2017? You may argue the season still early, but I can’t remember Red Bull was ever so reliable and Verstappen consistently up front getting 1-2 at the beginning of past seasons…

  11. Hamilton said “Mercedes under-performed all weekend”

    If u look at Bottas who qualified 3rd and was 2nd in the race before pitstop blunder; it is only Hamilton himself actually under-performed all weekend.
    Actually Hamilton was never very good around Monaco.

    1. He won it multiple times.

      He performed really well. Had your Max qualified 7th, he would stay there as well.
      Today there were no overtakes on track

      1. I agree he performed really well in his ability but it was only good for the 7th place.

      2. Ahaha, if that is performing well, what would be performing badly, ending up behind mazepin?

    2. Monaco is about drivers skills and confidence to push when the barriers are close. Hamilton did under perform and he does get disheartened quickly, even Brundle said he lost interest in the race.

    3. I’d have to agree. Maybe this wasn’t the strongest track for Mercedes.. But they still had a car capable of fighting for pole, or at least a podium. Bottas was just a couple of hundredths of a second down on Max in quali and was pretty even on race pace as well. You can’t say that Mercedes didn’t have the performance this weekend.

      The underperforming element in Mercedes was Lewis this weekend. He couldn’t tthe right approach for qualifying and was a couple of spots lower than he should have been. Then on raceday he couldn’t make the strategy work by pushing harder on his in lap and out lap.

      Im kind of surprised that he hasn’t taken more ownership on the poor performance from him, and instead is saying the team underperformed… Which is clearly not the case.

      1. @todfod Hamilton has never been allowed to own his errors … case in point, there are still people who will swear blind that it was somehow his team’s fault that he drove into a gravel trap towards the end of his debut season. There’s always someone who will make an excuse for him, and I guess that attitude rubs off after 15 years.

        Intemperate outbursts from Hamilton immediately after a race are not unknown, either. Remember how he accused his team of sabotaging his car after his engine failure in Malaysia 2016. He was out with a “clarification” within hours, once he’d calmed down and Toto had a quiet word. I have no doubt the same will happen again here.

      2. Im kind of surprised that he hasn’t taken more ownership on the poor performance

        You should not. Zero self-awareness. The fault is always somebody else’s.

        1. Actually, and I say this as someone who believes hamilton was carried by the car to several of his titles, I believe he took responsibility for his mistakes fairly often in recent past, I remember that brazil crash when he had already won the title in 2017 example and a few more.

  12. Abysmal weekend from Hamilton.

    That’s why for me he’s not even the best driver on the grid let alone of all time.
    When do you ever see Verstappen or Leclerc so far off the pace and miles behind their teammates?
    Hamilton is sitting in the best car and qualifying in 7th, totally inexcusable.

    And to all those blaming the team for his poor set-up, he’s a big part of that job as well so a driver of his experience shouldn’t be getting lost like that.

    As usual he throws the team under the bus when he gets beat, shameful behaviour.

    1. Agree, he’s imo only one of the top 10 of all times, and not necessarily better than verstappen nowadays, he has more experience but the car is generally better, even this year, so it’s easier to do stuff when you have that little car advantage.

      To be fair to hamilton though, it’s been pretty rare after 2018 that he had abysmal weekends, I was under the impression he had solved that weakness.

  13. It’s a long season. Just depends on who develops their car the best now, my money is on Mercedes, there is a lot of performance still to be unlocked in that car.

  14. This was definitely not Mercedes and Hamilton’s at their best. Bad set-up, bad qualy, bad strategy for Hamilton and yet another pitstop problem for Bottas. But things like this can happen and an off day is a rare occurrence for them.
    But I have to admit that although I’m a big fan of his, I didn’t like Hamilton’s attitude after Qualifying and during the race.

  15. This is why for me Hamilton isn’t even the best driver on the grid let alone of all time.

    I mean when has Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, ever been that far off the pace and demolished like that by their teammates.

    You can make every excuse under the sun for him, it’s his job to work with his engineers and reach the right set-up. A driver of his experience and trophy wear should not be getting lost like that.

    To throw the team under the bus like he has done is pathetic, shame on him.

  16. It’s easy when everything is running smoothly and in sync
    Maybe Mercedes are so used to being ahead of the game that once in a while when everything’s not going well they implode as someone already pointed out.
    In the grand scheme of things, swap Hamilton for Bottas and the reaction is different. It’d just be one article explaining “Bottas says setup to blame for poor Monaco Weekend” and that’s wrapped up
    I don’t think this was as big as is being made
    One wonders if the end of Mercedes era and the start of their collapse is coming when the new regulations kick in
    Senior figures Andy Cowell, the late Niki Lauda are gone
    On top of that Redbull is chopping them up for parts in the engine department
    Lewis might retire in 3 or so years

  17. Chris Robinson
    23rd May 2021, 21:01

    Before the race started I said to the Mrs that Hamilton’s only chance was to go long if he wanted to move forward. This has been proven time and time again over the last few years that going for the over cut is the best strategy especially as LH is one of, if not the best at preserving his tyres. He was roughly 15 secs behind when he pitted which, if he’d gone long, would have put him in the lead (assuming everyone else in front pitted). Perez is the perfect example of what LH could have achieved at the very least. Im sorry, but I agree with LH that his team royaly screwed the strategy today.

    1. Why didn’t hamilton, with all his experience, point this out when they told him to stop? I agree with the idea, but I don’t see why you’re absolving him of the blame, he’s in f1 since 2007!

  18. Mercedes had a horrible weekend. Hamilton never happy with the car, not so much of a problem for Bottas. But that Mercedes was never going to get poll.

    Don’t care which driver you are if you’re not comfortable with the car you won’t push to the limit.

    Collectively practically everything went wrong this weekend, they’ll learn and bounce back.

    What the other teams need to do is reset and give them another hard time on the next weekend and take it step by step.

    Hamilton is still the driver to beat and Mercedes are still the team to beat.

    Now they are officially behind will be good to see what they do.

    Most of the comments are general negativity to Hamilton, but his and the teams standards are high and if it dips they acknowledge. As Hamilton acknowledged his own mistake when he went into the barriers (think it was the second race) and Bottas’s pit stop in Spain and today.

    If Mercedes make no mistakes, drivers included and still lose, then it’s a serious problem for them. For now just a bad weekend in the office.

  19. Ben (@scuderia29)
    23rd May 2021, 23:07

    Sometimes it would be nice if he took defeat with grace, it makes the “get in there Lewis” “I have the best team, thank you to all of them” extra vomit inducing when he only has a strong relationship with the team when things are going well.

  20. Why is everyone so upset? Red Bull have the fastest car, and now Ferrari are faster as well. Merc is the third fastest car at best.

    The sooner we accept that Merc have only had the fastest car in 14,15,16 and 20 the better. Anyone who suggests otherwise is a bigot.

    1. Merc clearly the quickest 17-19 and I suspect 21 as well (so far anyway).

      2017 and 18 Hams made a lot blunders early on in the season. 2018 he was often struggling to beat Bottas early on, forget about trying to lead a championship if you can’t beat your wingman.

    2. You both make interesting points, I think that mercedes had the fastest car in 14-16 + 20 is undisputed, here I agree with dean cause in 2019 ferrari was only good in qualifying, mercedes had the far better race pace, as for 2017 and 2018 they were competitive seasons but I’d still give the edge to mercedes in 2017, both faster and more reliable, while 2018 was even, the only time there was true competition in the front in the hybrid era, apart from 2021, which we still have to see how it develops, so far I’d give the edge to mercedes, but I admit in monaco they didn’t have as much speed as ferrari and red bull, it’s however not a trend, I really doubt ferrari will be faster than merc in baku, and even red bull is a stretch.

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