Valtteri Bottas just falls short of the podium and Lewis Hamilton fights back to seventh at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. Valtteri came home in P4, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but ahead of Max Verstappen, after an intense battle with the Red Bulls in Monte Carlo. Lewis battled from P13 on the grid to claim seventh at the chequered flag. Sebastian Vettel (129pt) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 25 points from Lewis (104pt) in P2. Scuderia Ferrari (196pt) lead the Silver Arrows (179pt) by 17 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so it’s disappointing to miss out. I was stuck in the traffic while Daniel [Ricciardo] was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium. It’s been a really tough weekend for us and we’ve just been missing pace. Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate, so we have work to do. We have to learn from this, but there’s a long year ahead. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.
I’m really, really happy that I was able to fight back to seventh. The strategists said P10 was probably the maximum today, so it feels great to have beaten that target. To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday is a good recovery. Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end! I’m just grateful to have ended up in P7. I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn’t over. We’ll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada. We’ve got a real fight on our hands, but there are still 14 races to go.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Ferrari dominated the race today and first of all we must congratulate them for that performance. But our job is to analyse what happened to us this weekend and then to understand it. Today was a day of damage limitation and the drivers did that as well as they possibly could have done. Valtteri drove a controlled and consistent race. He was unfortunate to lose P3 at the pit stops but, with two cars, Red Bull had the chance to pincer him and they made that work. We successfully covered Verstappen but then Ricciardo was able to unleash some lap times that we just couldn’t match. As for Lewis, he did a great job to take every opportunity that came his way and climb to P7, which was the maximum of our expectations for him today. There were also glimpses of competitive lap times during the later part of the race on the super soft tyre. But the reality is that we were in and out of the working window of the tyres this weekend and that made our performance too inconsistent overall. We have limited the damage and need to work hard to understand our weakness and come back much stronger in Montreal in two weeks’ time.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport