Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team CEO and Team Principal Toto Wolff knows the team has a tall order if they want to get a good points haul out of the Monaco Grand Prix. Both drivers came away from qualifying disappointed. Valtteri Bottas is starting in third with Lewis Hamilton down the order in seventh.
Despite the poor starting positions, Wolff is hoping his drivers have patience and create opportunities to move up the grid.
Wolff said: “It was not a good day for us overall and we need to find out why we couldn’t get Lewis’ car in a happier place. It was a shame for Valtteri – he was two and a half tenths up on his final lap and had a great chance for pole but crashes happen here in Q3, it’s when the drivers are pushing the most.
“For the whole day we struggled to generate grip with Lewis’ car and it cost him confidence in practice and that carried over into qualifying; we’ll work hard to understand why. With Valtteri’s car, he was happier in the morning session, could build confidence and his car seemed to be in a better window.
“Tomorrow will be a tight race, we need to stay patient and look for any opportunities to move forward.”
“A frustrating day for both sides of the garage” – Shovlin
Andrew Shovlin, Chief Engineer, believes the day was frustrating all around for the whole team. With the current pace of the cars, third and seventh is not where the team expected to be, especially at a track that is notorious for being difficult to overtake on.
Looking over the data from the two cars, Shovlin cannot see a stand out reason as to why the two cars are not performing at the highest level.
Shovlin also thinks the drivers will be able to take advantage of tyre degradation and race pace to get higher race finish positions.
“A frustrating day for both sides of the garage. Valtteri was doing a great job and really getting everything out of the car, he’d been solid all session and had found quite a bit of time on his final run when the session was red flagged so he couldn’t finish his lap,” stated Shovlin.
“Lewis had a more difficult time and was unable to build tyre temperature as well as Valtteri. We’ll have to look at that as there isn’t anything obvious in their setups to explain it.
“P3 and P7 are not the positions where we wanted to be but the race pace and degradation will still be a feature of the race tomorrow and we’ve shown this year that we are good in that regard – hopefully we can use that to our advantage.