The Monaco Grand Prix might have put him on the back foot in terms of this year’s drivers championship, but Lewis Hamilton insists that the battle is far from over.
A dreadful qualifying session on Saturday left Hamilton starting from 13th place on the grid. Although he battled back to seventh at the end of the race, it still leaves him 25 points behind his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel.
However, Hamilton pointed out that there’s still a lot of time left in the season. With only six races in the books and 14 remaining, anything can still happen.
“I still believe we can win this thing,” he insisted on Monday. “25 points is a long way away. It is hard just to get to six points and be within firing range, but bit-by-bit we will try to chip away at it
“The war is not over. It’s a marathon not a sprint,” the Mercedes driver told Sky Sports News HQ. “We can take it on the chin and move forward.”
Worryingly, it seems that the team is still not sure why Hamilton’s set-up went to badly awry in Monaco. After topping the times in FP1 on Thursday morning, both Hamilton and his team mate Valtteri Bottas struggled badly in the afternoon FP2 session.
The team was able to successfully reset Bottas car before Saturday’s final practice and qualifying. However, answers appeared much harder to come by for Hamilton’s situation.
- Hamilton: ‘It’s not a happy car at the moment’
Once qualifying was over, parc fermé conditions meant that the team were unable to do anything more before the race itself. They now have a week and a half to get to the bottom of the problem before the next race in Canada.
“The car was still a real handful and not where it should be,” Hamilton admitted. “A lot of analysis will go into it over the next two weeks.”
Hamilton is due at Mercedes’ Northamptonshire factory on Thursday to discuss the events of Monaco, and to prepare for the next Grand Prix on June 11.
The 32-year-old earlier described the handling of the W08 as “the most unusual the car has felt in all the years I’ve been with the team.” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has also claimed that the car is “a bit of a diva” to drive.
“We are all under no illusion that we are not perfect and that we still have got areas to improve on,” Hamilton said.
“There are so many different things we need to look into,” he explained. “To try and understand why one car can make the tyres work, and the other can’t.
“Trust me, I will be pushing,” he added. “And the guys will be pushing to fully understand it, because we don’t want to be in this position again.
“One more race like this and we will be much further behind.”
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Gallery: All the pictures from Sunday in Monaco
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