Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff revealed his team reacted with “brutal honesty and transparency” after failing to provide Lewis Hamilton with the car he needed in F1 during Grand Prix qualifying of Monaco.
Hamilton will start the race from a seventh place on the shock grid after heading in the wrong direction with his car prepared ahead of Saturday’s all-important qualifying session.
Wolff explained, “We didn’t do it right. We have to analyze this but one thing is for sure, all of us together were not competitive [and] didn’t do a good enough job.
“We haven’t provided Lewis with the right car to build confidence and the basis for a good gripping car he would like to have.
«Valtteri [Bottas] had a more productive FP3 session and ended up in a better window overall, and when you’re able to score back-to-back good times like in Q1, things come together more easily.
“We had a very productive and difficult debriefing and this is exactly where we learn the most. This team has brutal honesty and transparency with themselves.
“I think the discussion we had was so direct that we can close the weekend qualifying chapter.
“We know where we need to work, what things we need to tackle to make sure similar weekends in the future go in a better direction.”
Hamilton starts five places behind Verstappen
Charles Leclerc achieved a surprise pole for Ferrari while Max Verstappen occupies second place, just ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, third with Hamilton on the fourth row, in the middle of the field.
However, Mercedes has been exemplary in their strategy this season and Wolff believes careful planning and driving to maintain tire performance could be key to maintaining the team’s chances.
He added: “The P7 is certainly not a good starting point for Lewis but who knows what happens in the race. Valtteri’s P3 he can rely on and if we have a smart pit strategy, if our car turns out to be long, that opens up opportunities.
“That’s what we have to focus on and if we finish third and seventh we have to take it to the chin. If we can finish in better positions I would very much hope so, but Monaco is not a place where you have a lot of overtaking opportunities.
“It’s going to be a mix of not overheating while building a big enough gap to keep that special air because I think some of the cars based outside of the top 10 are going to start on the midrange.
“That means they’re going to last a long time and you have to make sure you get out in front of these cars, but on the other side you have too little pace, which means cars like ours which are very good in degrees can potentially over-cut. .
“The weekend is not over, but clearly starting from P1, you maintain P1 after the first lap, you are in a good position.