Lewis Hamilton: Monaco Grand Prix was ‘dangerous’ in wet conditions
Lewis Hamilton has revealed the treacherous conditions he faced during the rain-soaked Monaco Grand Prix, stating that it felt as if he was driving on “ice” and came close to a “big shunt” due to the lack of grip on the track.
The Monte Carlo street race, initially proceeding in a processional manner, was abruptly thrown into chaos when rain showers intensified on lap 51. As the drizzle transformed into a downpour, the drivers, still equipped with slick tires, found themselves struggling to maintain control on the increasingly slippery surface. With uncertainty surrounding the duration and intensity of the rain, the primary objective became surviving the challenging conditions.
Despite a switch to intermediate tires, several drivers experienced difficulty staying on track, sliding into barriers. Hamilton expressed his concerns to the Mercedes team over the radio, emphasizing the dangerous nature of the conditions. “It’s getting to a point where it’s pretty dangerous out here,” he conveyed.
Hamilton attributed the perilous situation to the sensation of driving on ice, with the tires failing to generate sufficient grip. He stated, “It felt very twitchy, and the tires weren’t working, so it was like I was on ice.” The seven-time World Champion admitted that he was on the brink of crashing, narrowly avoiding a significant accident.
The British driver further described the conditions as extremely challenging, highlighting the difficulty of the situation. “It was very, very bad. There’s really no word to describe how difficult it was,” he remarked. Hamilton struggled to generate adequate tire temperature, forcing him to exercise caution on the track. Despite losing ground due to a pit stop, he managed to avoid mistakes and keep the car on track.
The Monaco weekend marked the debut of Mercedes’ upgraded W14, featuring design changes including a transition to a more conventional pod design and updates to the front suspension and floor. Hamilton acknowledged that the upgrades represent a step in the right direction for the team, but he believes the upcoming race in Barcelona will provide a clearer picture of their progress in terms of performance.
Reflecting on the weekend, Hamilton expressed optimism, stating, “It feels like the car has progressed — it has moved forwards.” He anticipates gaining a better understanding of the team’s development during the next race, which will feature medium- and high-speed corners. Overall, Hamilton deemed the weekend a positive one for Mercedes.
With his performance in Monaco, Hamilton now sits in fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship, accumulating 69 points. Meanwhile, Mercedes closed the gap to Aston Martin to just one point in the Constructors’ Championship, currently holding the third position.
As the Formula 1 season progresses, Hamilton and the Mercedes team will strive to harness the potential of their upgraded car and maintain their competitive edge in the pursuit of success on the race track.