‘Narrow Minded’ Mercedes Blamed for Hamilton’s Monaco GP Debacle

Published 05/26/2021, 3:17 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning the race alongside third place Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo


The Monaco Grand Prix turned out to be one of the most horrendous outings for either of the Mercedes garage. While Valtteri Bottas’ race was destroyed by an unfortunate pit-stop failure, Lewis Hamilton took a hefty blow on track position after the Stuttgart outfit made a massive strategical blunder.

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And former F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer, acknowledged Mercedes’ rare mistake-induced race weekend. Furthermore, he felt that the Silver Arrows were quite “narrow minded” with Hamilton’s strategy.

Mercedes were guilty of messing up the race for Lewis Hamilton: Palmer

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Writing to F1, Palmer felt that Mercedes never looked at the big picture throughout the race. Instead, they restricted their entire focus on getting past Gasly and claiming P5.

Free air is essential in Monaco. And it’s what any team who has a driver out of position on the grid should be chasing with regards to strategy,” he felt.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Mercedes were guilty of being too narrow minded on Sunday, going all out for a win or bust strategy to beat Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and secure fifth.

By pitting early they clearly were attempting the undercut on Gasly. But even if that had worked, everybody ahead would have pitted and covered off Hamilton. So they would have gained maximum one place in the race.”

Bizzare strategy cost Hamilton a top-five finish

Of course, the former Renault driver isn’t wrong. In a race where P4 wasn’t too far off for the seven-time world champion, Mercedes opted for a bizarre under-cut, a strategy that hasn’t worked well for teams over the years.

The unusual track position of Hamilton forced the team to push for a massive strategical gamble against Pierre Gasly, who had been holding up the Briton for quite too long.

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Ultimately, Mercedes’ desperation backfired horribly, as Hamilton not only stayed behind the Frenchman but also lost his positions to both Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez as the first round of pit-stops came to a close.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea

This strategy left the whole of the F1 fraternity in shock. Because, only a week before Monaco, Mercedes were hailed for carrying out a stellar strategy for Hamilton, that handed the Briton an impossible win against Max Verstappen.

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Hence, can Mercedes return strong stronger for the approaching race weekend in Baku? Or will they crumble further and let Red Bull pull away on the championship table?

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Rohit Kumar

759 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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