This might be the best place ever to have win number 44 – it’s been eight years since I won here! What a
special day… truly one of the hardest races I can ever remember having. To stay in the zone, not make any
mistakes and come out on top is just unbelievable. I walk along here every day and think about the greats
who have won this race – the likes of Fangio, Moss, Hill and Senna – and it’s a truly amazing feeling to have
my name added to that list again. It’s very unusual that I’m able to take any credit for a strategy decision –
but when the team first asked me to box, I could see the track drying and my tyres still felt pretty good. So I
told them all that and they said to stay out, which worked out great. I just carried on looking after the tyres –
picking up the pace a bit when I saw what times people were starting to do on the intermediates as it dried
out. I was matching their times at that stage so I thought “I could actually hold onto this until it’s dry”. Staying
in that window was really tricky, though, as the first two sectors were almost dry. When I came out on the
slicks it was like driving on ice. It was tough knowing how hard to push and we came out very close together.
If he hadn’t had a bad stop I wouldn’t have been ahead. But these things happen for a reason – and today the
reason was that 44th win.
In racing you have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day for me. I didn’t have the pace to fight for
the win and we need to understand why. It was possibly a brake issue – but I don’t know for sure yet. I didn’t
feel like I could push to the limit at the beginning of the race on the wet tyres. It was a simple decision to
accept the request from the team to let Lewis past – even if it hurt very much in that moment. I was very far off
the pace and Lewis quite clearly had the speed to win for the team. We’ve always had that rule – if you’re
ahead and the other guy has a chance to win, you give him that chance. From there it just didn’t go my way. I
had a tricky pit stop and was held in the box because there was traffic in pit lane. So the cars were just
streaming by and suddenly I was down to sixth. Once you’re behind in Monaco that’s it – you’re stuck. At
the end, Nico [Hülkenberg] had a lot more rubber left on his Soft tyres and my UltraSofts were finished, so I
lost temperature in the drizzle and lost grip, which let him past too. That kind of summed it up, really. I’m
massively disappointed with today – I really wanted to win my home race again but it didn’t work out. It’s been
tough and I’ll probably need a day to take it all in – but then I’ll shift my focus to Canada and a chance to
come back stronger.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
What an incredible drive from Lewis: he didn’t put a foot wrong, we took some risks together as a team and
lady luck smiled on us as well. It was an amazing race and just what the doctor ordered after everything we
have been through together in recent weeks. But I feel really bad for Nico, too; he endured a messy race in a
car that didn’t have the pace today, a delayed second pit stop that cost him track position and then found
himself stuck behind Alonso for the rest of the race. It was like all his bad luck came on one day and the
result was P7. In the first stint we told him to let Lewis pass, as that was our best chance of winning the race
at that time. The fact that he did so was the gesture of a great team player. But we don’t leave Monaco feeling
in any way complacent: Red Bull had the performance this weekend and Montreal and Baku will present
some very different challenges for us to tackle. So we need to keep pushing on performance and keep
chasing the root causes of the problems we have experienced. For this evening, though, we can also savour a
special win for Lewis who was at his very best today.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We woke up this morning to rain, as predicted. Not having pole position, this was a welcome opportunity to
find a way to win the race. As it panned out, we started under the safety car which lost us one opportunity.
And then, once the race did get underway, it soon became clear from Nico’s pace that he had a problem.
We’re still trying to analyse what that was – but the initial signs are that it was related to brake temperatures.
It came to the point where we told Nico he would either need to pick up the pace or let Lewis past. One lap
later, he hadn’t managed to find that extra pace, so we asked him to move aside – which he did immediately.
Great credit to Nico for his team ethic and playing for the overall team result. Unfortunately, his pace didn’t
recover all afternoon – to the point where he even lost sixth place at the final corner as light rain began to fall
once more. We need to look into why that was. Once Lewis was past, he instantly began to stretch away
from Nico with pace that was on a par with the leader. Once Daniel pitted for Intermediates, we had a very
interesting situation where Lewis was in the lead and we had nothing to lose strategically – thanks to the
buffer he had built over Nico in third. We gambled on stringing out the stint until the track was sufficiently dry
to change to slicks. Fortunately, the wet tyre clung on at a reasonable pace until we made the switch to the
UltraSoft and the rest is history! A fantastic job from Lewis to maintain the lead in difficult circumstances with
changing conditions, traffic, VSC incidents and all sorts – and credit again to Nico for the way he handled a
tough situation. A word finally to the strategy team – who did a fantastic job today with a bold but brilliant call
for Lewis which played a huge role in the win.
Today it was a very tricky race, and the outcome was partly compromised by our qualifying performance. An
aggressive race strategy, with an early call for intermediate tires, was the only option we could take to gain
positions, and it’s no use to complain about other drivers who hampered us on the track. If we had qualified
better, the result would also had been better. Our car had a very good race pace but that’s not enough, as we
must make sure that we stay competitive for the whole weekend. We now look forward to the next race in
Canada where we don’t want to be caught out, as we want to be up to our name. The season is still very long,
and it’s not in the DNA of Ferrari to surrender. Having said this, we must work hard to cure our weak spots,
while improving further on all areas where we are strong already.
Today it was very difficult to get any grip in wet conditions, I was trying to drive as fast as I could but I was
very slow. At one point, trying to downshift, I locked the rear a little bit, went straight and then I just couldn’t
turn around at the hairpin. Unfortunately I touched the wall, took the front wing out and it got stuck underneath
the car. After that I struggled to go forward and in the end I managed to get the car moving. When the team
told me to park the car I was in the middle of the tunnel and couldn’t stop there, so I went through very slowly
and then I parked the car. It has been a difficult weekend with a bad end result for me, now we keep working
and improving, certainly we can do better next race.
It was a difficult race, I think I could have done better when I stopped and I came out behind Felipe. We made
the right strategy call but then I should have found the way to get past, I think I lost the podium there. When I
was behind him I was in the Intermediates tires, it was very slippery, very easy to get it wrong, but I feel I
should have made it possible. Yesterday we didn’t do a good job in not putting the car in the place where we
belong, yet I think we were very quick this weekend, the pit-stops were fantastic, a great job from the guys.
But the rest is up to me and I apologize because I couldn’t get to the podium. I tried everything to close the
gap to Perez, and I did come very close a couple of times, I was also lucky not to ‘kiss’ the wall at the end.
Now it’s over, so in the end we got good points and after 6 races there’s a lot more to come.”