Hamilton too "devastated" to get out of car after qualifying

Lewis Hamilton admits he was so devastated not to progress out of Q2 in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying that he was unable to get out of his car initially.

Hamilton too "devastated" to get out of car after qualifying
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Presss conference: polesitter Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, second place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, third place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid

The Mercedes driver struggled to get his tyres working throughout qualifying, eventually losing out when Stoffel Vandoorne crashed and brought out yellow flags in the closing minutes of Q2, forcing him to abort his final lap.

Hamilton was left stranded in 14th place, although he has gained a spot from grid penalties for Jenson Button and will therefore start Sunday's race from 13th on the grid.

“I was devastated after the session, to the point where I couldn’t get out of the car,” he said.

“So much energy and work goes into these weeks, collectively as a team and individually, the way you prep yourself, and when you see the other cars able to get it to work, you can’t for the life of you think why we weren’t able to.

"It just feels like it’s a mystery, because none of us currently understand it.”

Tyre temperature struggles

Hamilton admitted Mercedes was still struggling to understand the behaviour of the tyres, saying: "It’s a very, very strange thing, because I did the same thing as I do always when I leave the garage.

"But it’s actually a case of going in and out [of the temperature range] throughout the lap, mostly under.

"And it’s not even just the fronts or rears, it could be one tyre, and another tyre, but in general all tyres were not in the window.

“I think it’s difficult to say whether it’s setting up the car, I don’t know how it is for everyone else. But for us, obviously we don’t understand it currently, how one car can have them working, and the other not.”

Asked if it was a question of the team working on the car, or Hamilton himself addressing driving issues, the Briton made it clear that he felt he was doing nothing wrong.

“I think we have to work on it together," he said. "I mean I don’t drive the car badly, and I’m not slow here. I’ll work together collectively with the team to understand.

"I asked them just now in the meetings, things that I could do differently, let me know. They’ll cross-examine both cars to understand if there’s anything different.

"In the session I was like, ‘Is my out lap quick enough?’, for example. And it was virtually the same. Other things then perhaps come into it.”

Damage limitation

Hamilton said he hopes that teammate Valtteri Bottas – who will start third behind the two Ferraris – will be able to take points off the Prancing Horse. 

“When you don’t get through to Q3, pretty much your weekend’s done, and it’s really about trying to recover as much as you can," said Hamilton.

"I hope that Valtteri can win the race tomorrow, somehow he can get ahead of the Ferraris, that will be great for the team, because we want to beat them in the constructors’.

“It’s disappointing for me, because obviously it’s not so easy for me to back him up, and score those points for the team, and I feel that for the team.

"Everyone’s working back at the factory so hard, and they rely on me to get it together, and somehow I was able to. But we stand together, we lose as a team."

He added: "Tomorrow I’ll try everything I can to get up as high as possible, it’s very hard to overtake, and we will have to take some risks. But as always, they will be weighed up.”

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