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Hamilton given "brutal honesty" by Mercedes after Monaco qualifying failure

Hamilton given "brutal honesty" by Mercedes after Monaco qualifying failure

Hamilton given "brutal honesty" by Mercedes after Monaco qualifying failure

Ian Parkes & Will Gray
Hamilton given "brutal honesty" by Mercedes after Monaco qualifying failure

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed his team reacted with “brutal honesty and transparency” after failing to provide Lewis Hamilton with the car he needed in F1 qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton will start the race from a shock seventh place on the grid after heading in the wrong direction with his car set up ahead of the all-important Saturday qualifying session.

Wolff explained: “We didn't get things right. We need to analyse that but one thing is for sure, all of us together, we were not competitive [and] haven't done a good enough job.

“We didn't provide Lewis with the right car to build up the confidence and base of a good grippy car that he would like to have.

“Valtteri [Bottas] had a more productive FP3 session and got himself in a better window overall, and when you are able to clock consecutive good times like in Q1, things come together easier.

"We had a very productive and tough debriefing and that is exactly where we learn the most. This team has a brutal honesty and transparency with itself.

"I think that the discussion we had was so direct that we can close the chapter of qualifying of the weekend.

"We know where we need to work, which things we need to tackle to make sure similar weekends in the future go in a better direction.”

Hamilton starts five places behind Verstappen

Charles Leclerc achieved a surprise pole for Ferrari while Max Verstappen sits in second place, just ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in third with Hamilton on the fourth row, in the middle of the pack.

Mercedes has been exemplary on its strategy this season, however, and Wolff believes careful planning and driving to maintain tyre performance could be key to keeping the team’s chances alive.

He added: “P7 is certainly, for Lewis, not a great starting point but who knows what happens in the race. Valtteri's P3 he can build upon and if we have a clever pit strategy, if our car proves to be going long, it opens up opportunities.

“This is what we need to concentrate on and if we end third and seventh we need to take it on the chin. If we can finish in better positions I would very much hope so, but Monaco isn't a place where you have a lot of overtaking opportunity.

"It is going to be a mixture between not overheating whilst growing a gap large enough to keep this special air because I believe some of the cars based outside of the top 10 are going to start on the medium.

“That means they are going to go long and you need to make sure you come out in front of these cars but on the other side, you are having too little pace which means that cars like ours that are very good in deg can potentially overcut.

“The weekend isn't finished but clearly starting from P1, you maintain P1 after the first lap, you are in a good position."

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