Toto Wolff, Mercedes Team Principal, admitted that Mercedes’ problem with tires did not help them in Monaco and made them lose the lead in both championships.
Mercedes only managed to finish in P7 with Lewis Hamilton struggling for the whole weekend, while Valtteri Bottas had to retire after a problem during a pit stop.
Wolff said that it was not the best of the weekends, but the team has to take what it could and move on.
“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 discussed with the team because he wanted to make a different choice tire-wise, but Wolff believed that the approach wanted by Hamilton would not have helped them eventually.
“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 tires 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 also admitted that the choices of pitting both cars on lap 30 and 31 were made due to the tire wear.
“On Valtteri’s car we were finished with the tires, and on Lewis’s car when we analyzed the tires after the stop, there wasn’t anything left either.”
Mercedes wanted to overtake Pierre Gasly by using the strategy since overtaking on track in Monaco is not easy. However, the lack of performance did not allow Hamilton to overcut the Frenchman, who stayed in front.
“There wasn’t enough performance to overcut Gasly,” Wolff confirmed.
“I think it’s 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.”