Lewis Hamilton limits damage with 7th place at Monaco GP

"I think I have shown good performance this weekend and the team knows my potential". We went back to this unknown scenario we are in, which happens to be, it's okay on one auto and not okay on mine. "And this is the new reality at the moment".

Team mate Kimi Raikkonen, on pole for the first time in nine years, lost out in the pitstops but secured a Ferrari one-two with Hamilton finishing seventh for Mercedes after starting 13th.

But it was shrouded in controversy.

But it was a familiar story at the front, with Ferrari's Sebastian stretching his championship lead over Hamilton to 25 points after a comfortable win.

What is of concern for Hamilton and Mercedes is that he has experienced similar problems twice this season and on both occasions neither affected his team-mate Valtteri Bottas as badly.

"The vehicle is great to drive, the cars are a lot more fun to drive than previously". "Valtteri has been doing a great job and I don't now feel we have to favour one or the other".

"But there might be some things along the way that position-wise, at some stage, might become valuable but who knows what is going to happen". "There is no reason to lie, I am very happy", Vettel said. "They are pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will maximise on all of his weekends".

Hamilton, described by Wolff as a "team player" this season after years of intra-team scrapping with retired 2016 champion German Nico Rosberg, is now 25 points adrift of Vettel in the drivers' title race.

"They are finally where we were back in the days when you finish one and two and you have to explain why the right guy won", Wolff said. "Because the underdog is the one that people want to see win".

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'As a matter of fact, I think we've been that since the beginning of the season.

"We have been dropping in and out of the tyre window, never had two drivers or two cars over the whole course of a weekend within that window".

Hamilton know he can not afford another low scoring weekend given Vettel's pace and consistency.

"We've just been missing pace", Bottas said.

"The battle's not over, boys, We'll take these points".

"It's very hard for the leading auto (here) to get jumped by the second vehicle unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle... so that's very clear".

"The Ferrari seems to work everywhere and these next 14 races are going to be very, very hard", he added. That is something which we need to understand why that is because Ferrari is able to put the auto on the floor and it goes from straight from the beginning until the end.

"The Ferraris are not bullet-proof and they have things coming up too, potentially, with all the turbos they have used".

  • Regina Holmes