Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the team’s failure to solve their tyres woes at Monaco led to “not the prettiest of pictures” as they lost the lead in both championship fights.Lewis Hamilton while Valtteri Bottas retired after encountering a problem in his pit stop, Wolff said the team had to take what they could from it in the title fight. “It isn’t the prettiest of pictures and Lewis is behind, too, by four points, but it’s clear that it’s going to go until the very end.
“I hope the P7 points are going to make a difference. But let’s just learn, move on and conquer again.”
Hamilton had said that he felt there was a particular direction on tyres that the team should have taken, after qualifying seventh. However, Wolff explained that he didn’t believe the approach would have ultimately benefited them.
“I think it would have done better in qualifying, we would have suffered more in the race,” he explained. “The direction that we were thinking of was heating the tyres more, which we then finally did in qualifying, but not good enough.
“Valtteri was on course for pole, that’s what the lap prediction showed us. But you saw today that the degradation was worse than all the other cars and on competitors’ cars so that isn’t the solution.”
Wolff said that at the point drivers were called into the pits on lap 30 and 31, their strategy was dictated by tyre wear. “On Valtteri’s car we were finished with the tyres and on Lewis’ car when we analysed the tyres after the stop, there wasn’t anything left either.”
The lack of option to attempt an overcut on Pierre Gasly meant Hamilton finished the race behind the AlphaTauri, unable to pass around the Monte Carlo streets. “There wasn’t enough performance to overcut Gasly,” Wolff confirmed.
“I think it’s clearly so frustrating,” said Wolff. “You’re stuck behind a car that is almost two seconds slower and there’s just no way past him.
“I think our performance today would have probably been good enough to get [Hamilton] back on the podium on a normal track because we have pace in the car but here, it’s just [a] procession once you’re locked into a position.”
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