Lewis Hamilton was relieved to salvage some championship points in Monaco, but the Briton warned that Mercedes “can’t afford” another weekend like the one it experienced in the Principality.
After qualifying a lowly P7, Hamilton gained little at the end of Sunday’s race which he finished in the same position, save for a bonus point earned for securing the fastest lap after making a late second pitstop.
But the seven-point tally wasn’t enough for Hamilton to fend off race winner Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ championship that the Red Bull driver now leads by a small margin of four points.
Hamilton’s Monaco Grand Prix was impacted by Mercedes’ underperformance but also by its strategists’ decision to pit the Briton early in a bid to undercut AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
Strategies can be reviewed and corrected but the pace of Mercedes’ W12 in the streets of the Principality relative to Red Bull’s RB16B is Hamilton’s main concern.
“It’s going to be tough,” Hamilton said. “I told you at the beginning, they’ve got a championship-winning car, and they’re going to be very hard to beat.
“I’ve been serious about it all year. We’ve won races which we shouldn’t have won, like in Bahrain. But it’s not over. There’s a long, long way to go.
“We definitely can’t afford another weekend like this, but I’m grateful I’ve finished, and grateful I finished and got some points, fastest lap.
“Every little point that you can get on a bad weekend like this, hopefully can count towards something at the end.”
Read also: Bottas rues ‘big mistake’ by Mercedes that can’t happen again
Despite Mercedes’ botched weekend in Monaco, marked also by Valtteri Bottas retirement from second place in the race caused by a wheelnut issue suffered by the Finn during his pitstop, Hamilton felt confident the Brackley squad would dig in, scrutinize its performance and bounce back stronger.
“Of course, it’s not a great weekend, but I don’t feel like I’m dwelling on it,” Hamilton said.
“There’s a lot that we could have done better in terms of how we prepared going into the weekend. We’ve had some good conversations through the weekend. But it’s not good enough from all of us.
“We win and we lose as a team, and it’s collectively not a good job from all of us, across the board. And we don’t take it lightly.
“But there’s no point getting all depressed. We’ve got to start looking at the data and figuring out why we’re in this position.
“I’m going to be on calls over these the next days once we get some analysis. Naturally, we all want answers within the team.
“I know everyone will be working flat out to make sure that hopefully this kind of weekend doesn’t happen again.”
Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers
Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter
Click Here: japan rugby shirts