James Allison on why Hamilton was slower than Bottas in Monaco

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison says “slowness” was the team’s “main pain” at the Monaco Grand Prix, and not their strategy.

Lewis Hamilton has struggled during the whole Monaco Grand Prix weekend. He qualified in P7, and he eventually finished the race in P7.

However, in the race he could have had a better result, were it not for a bad strategy call that led to both Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel getting in front of him.

James Allison explains it was the overall “slowness” that was the main problem for Mercedes and the Briton.

“We need to figure out why we were slow.” Allison said.

“It’s the slowness that’s the main pain. Ironically our car, which one of its best weapons has been its tyre usage on various tracks, on this particular track we always struggle a bit with tyre usage.

“We are never really getting them happy on a Saturday, so our grid slots are lowly.

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“Then on Sunday, although we are okay at the start of the stints, by the end of the first stint, when most of the crucial action takes place at this particular track, we were normally all out of ideas with a tyre that dies a little sooner than our competitors’.

“It’s understanding that, which we’ve failed to do for a number of seasons and we need to figure out from first principles, ‘what are we getting wrong at this track?’”

Allison explains why Valtteri Bottas was able to qualify in P3, while Hamilton was struggling.

“Valtteri was able to get the front tyres happier at the beginning of the lap. Then for the rest of the lap he had more confidence to welly into the lap and take the car near the barriers, which is what you need to do to get a good qualifying lap.

“Objectively, just a bit of difference in the temperature between the front tyres on the two cars. But both drivers are basically suffering with the front tyres coming in later than the rear tyres.

“Coming into their best window, that is,” concluded Mercedes’ technical boss.

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