Lewis Hamilton finished 6th in MonacoMay 29th, 2011
It wasn’t a superb weekend for Lewis.
I think it basically was down to Qualifying 3, where Hamilton didn’t manage to show his real speed for various reasons (traffic/blocked, not enough runs, red flag etc., whatever it was down to, it wasn’t helping).
Not starting from where he should have started (most likely pole or there about) can’t be good – especially Monaco. So this situation can be frustrating.
Anyway, I think Martin made some objective comments after the race (below). Also he was saying that Lewis apologised to the race stewards afterwards about the ‘joke’ comment (this fact has most likely escaped most reporters or maybe it’s simply not dramatic enough for them to report.
Looking forward to the next race.
Lewis Hamilton after the race:
It’s been a disappointing weekend, really.
This afternoon, in the race itself, I made some strong moves on three drivers – Michael [Schumacher], Felipe [Massa] and Pastor [Maldonado] – and I got penalised for two of them.
With Felipe, I went up the inside at the hairpin, he turned in early and we touched. With Pastor, again, he turned in and I was pushed over the kerb.
“The penalties were frustrating: it’s really tough to overtake around here, and you rarely get an opportunity to do so. I was racing my heart out and just wanted to put on a good show for everyone.
Martin Whitmarsh after the race:
Our car had a lot of pace here in Monte-Carlo today – race-winning pace in fact – and I guess we’d therefore have to count ourselves as a bit unlucky not to have been able to convert that pace into the race win it could well have achieved.
We selected a three-stop strategy for Jenson – and, had the race not been red-flagged just as Jenson had caught Sebastian and Fernando, I think that that selection would have been revealed as the right one. Now, of course, we’ll never know – but it’s undeniable that Sebastian and Fernando were both on very worn tyres at the end, whereas Jenson’s were pretty fresh by comparison, so we definitely fancied his chances of being able to press home that advantage by overtaking the Ferrari and the Red Bull in the final laps. But, as I say, the red flag scuppered those chances.
Having said that, Jenson drove not only faultlessly but also very, very fast here this afternoon. Indeed, he posted the team’s 10,000th lap in the lead of a grand prix today, a stunning statistic. On his charge, he caught the Sebastian-Fernando battle by almost two seconds per lap whilst still managing to conserve his tyres. It was a truly excellent performance.
Lewis, by contrast, had a frustrating afternoon. I guess the reality is that, if you start anywhere other than at the front of the grid here in Monte-Carlo, you’re always going to run the risk of getting involved in incidents – especially if, like Lewis, you’re a forceful driver who never, ever, gives up. But that’s Lewis. That’s why he’s such a fantastic driver – and that’s why watching him race is so thrilling. So, yes, he’s disappointed, because he’s been seriously quick all weekend here, but that’s Monte-Carlo; that’s racing; that’s life.
Immediately after the race he was very down, and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G. However, I’m pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation.
In summary, then, Sebastian was probably a bit luckier than Jenson today, but he drove well to win so congratulations are due. In Montreal, though, let’s hope it’s our turn to have a bit of luck on our side.