Mercedes blames set-up for Hamilton's "disastrous" qualifying

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda says Lewis Hamilton's shock exit in the second segment of Monaco Grand Prix qualifying was down to set-up problems.

Mercedes blames set-up for Hamilton's "disastrous" qualifying
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
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
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Hamilton comfortably progressed through Q1 but struggled majorly in Q2, eventually ending up 14th.

In the meantime, teammate Valtteri Bottas made it to the Q3 shoot-out and subsequently took third, just 0.045s short of pole.

"We couldn't get it [the set-up] right on Lewis's car, therefore he had a disastrous qualifying," Lauda told Sky Sports after the session.

"Bottas's car was better, very close to the second place. With him we're happy, with Lewis, not at all.

"We have to analyse it, check carefully what the difference is between the two cars and why the whole set-up worked on one car and not on the other."

Hamilton was unable to ensure a top-10 place with his first Q2 run, as he narrowly saved a big moment at Massenet and pitted while in the drop zone, complaining of a lack of grip.

He couldn't improve his fortunes with his first push lap on his second run either, and while he looked likely to move up the order with his very final effort, a crash for McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne up ahead at Swimming Pool forced Hamilton to back off and assured his exit.

Asked how his qualifying would've gone if Vandoorne hadn't shunted, Hamilton told Sky Sports: "I think I would have struggled. That lap may have just got me into the top 10, and then I probably would have struggled to be in the top five with the pace that I had, with whatever issue I was having in the car.

"But it's great to see Valtteri was able to extract the performance of the car, it shows we're not terrible here. We'll just have to figure out why I couldn't be up there with him."

Hamilton admitted he was at a loss over his lack of pace, saying: "I don't know, I've not spoken to the guys so I can't really pinpoint it at the moment. But it's an odd feeling, that's for sure."

Responding to the suggestion that the problems from Thursday – when Mercedes languished down the order in FP2, struggling to switch on the tyres – were not solved, Hamilton said: "Clearly not. That's why I'm 14th. Little bit unfortunate with the yellow flag, but it is what it is."

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