Lewis Hamilton salvages seventh place in 2017 Monaco Grand Prix
PUBLISHED: 14:54 28 May 2017 | UPDATED: 18:55 28 May 2017
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton salvaged a top 10 points-scoring position in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix following Saturday's qualifying disappointment.
The 32-year-old Mercedes F1 racer from Hertfordshire finished seventh in today’s Monaco GP, after starting 13th on the grid.
Despite finishing in the points, the Silver Arrows star from Stevenage lost further ground on World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel in Monte Carlo.
The four-time world champion from Germany took the chequered flag in Monaco ahead of pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari claimed a podium one-two.
Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull in the provisional race classification ahead of Mercedes star Valtteri Bottas in fourth.
As a result, there was no Mercedes driver on the Monaco podium.
Hamilton claimed six points from the race to Vettel’s maximum 25. Vettel now leads the Drivers’ Championship by 25 points from Hamilton in P2 on 104 points.
Hamilton, however, was delighted to claim a top 10 finish. He said: “I’m really, really happy that I was able to fight back to seventh.
“The strategists said P10 was probably the maximum today, so it feels great to have beaten that target.
“To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday, is a good recovery.
“Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end.
“I’m just grateful to have ended up in P7. I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn’t over.
“We’ll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada. We’ve got a real fight on our hands, but there are still 14 races to go.”
Hamilton’s Silver Arrows colleague Bottas fell just short of the podium, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but ahead of Max Verstappen, after an intense battle with the Red Bulls in Monte Carlo.
Bottas said: “Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so it’s disappointing to miss out.
“I was stuck in the traffic while Daniel [Ricciardo] was running in free air and ultimately that cost me a place on the podium.
“It’s been a really tough weekend for us and we’ve just been missing pace.
“Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate, so we have work to do.
“We have to learn from this, but there’s a long year ahead. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.”
After a double podium in Monaco, Scuderia Ferrari (196) lead the Silver Arrows (179) by 17 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, admitted Ferrari “dominated” today’s race today.
He said: “First of all, we must congratulate them for that performance. But our job is to analyse what happened to us this weekend and then to understand it.
“Today was a day of damage limitation and the drivers did that as well as they possibly could have done.
“Valtteri drove a controlled and consistent race. He was unfortunate to lose P3 at the pit stops but, with two cars, Red Bull had the chance to pincer him and they made that work.
“We successfully covered Verstappen but then Riccardo was able to unleash some lap times that we just couldn’t match.”
Wolff added: “As for Lewis, he did a great job to take every opportunity that came his way and climb to P7, which was the maximum of our expectations for him today.
“There were also glimpses of competitive lap times during the later part of the race on the super soft tyre.
“But the reality is that we were in and out of the working window of the tyres this weekend and that made our performance too inconsistent overall.
“We have limited the damage and need to work hard to understand our weakness and come back much stronger in Montreal in two weeks’ time.”
James Allison, Mercedes’ technical director, concurred.
He said: “Both drivers did their utmost today to gather as many valuable points as possible for the championship ahead.
“But it is clear that this weekend we didn’t give them the equipment necessary to do better.
“This has been a tough week for us and we now need to go back to the factory and make sure we do everything in our power to ensure it remains our weakest result of the year – and that we can return to form in Canada.”