Lewis Hamilton ‘couldn’t care less’ about pit error at Monaco Grand Prix

lewis hamilton

Having been hugely disappointed after a pit strategy error cost him the win at the last round in Monaco, Lewis Hamilton has insisted he goes into the Canadian Grand Prix with the incident behind him and full confidence in his team.

After dominating from the first corner in Monaco, a late safety car caused by Max Verstappen’s crash saw Hamilton pit from first and rejoin in third, from where he was unable to overtake Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel in the final laps. Mercedes admitted they had made a mistake in bringing him in, although Hamilton had spoken to the team over the radio expressing concern that he was losing grip from his tyres.

His disappointment afterwards was palpable but here at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve he was relentless in his refusal to allow the incident to play on his mind. “I couldn’t care less about it,” he said. “It is about trying to shape the future, there is lots and lots of racing to come and improvements to make.”

This was not entirely unexpected: in the past two years Hamilton has been calmer, more ready to embrace the bigger picture and has increasingly made a point of emphasising that he refuses to dwell on the past and is focusing his energy on moving on. It is something that he managed with aplomb last season when faced with a host of bad luck from which he dutifully came back to take the championship. But such was his absolute insistence here in Canada to not discuss the error, there was a suggestion his disappointment has been not so much been left behind as entirely airbrushed out of the picture.

“I’m really not going back to Monaco. I’ve moved on. I don’t even have to think about it. I’m literally moving on,” he said.

“I can’t do anything about the past so there’s honestly no point in thinking about it. I’ve got a great team, got a great car and there’s a championship to be won so that’s all I’m focused on. Doesn’t matter what I feel or had felt or feel now because actually I don’t feel anything about it.”

Hamilton, a Monaco resident, had stopped his car at Poitiers on his in-lap after the race before restarting and returning to the paddock. When asked whether he was considering, as Ayrton Senna famously did after he crashed his McLaren at the same corner in 1988, climbing out and simply walking home, he was again unwilling to even entertain revisiting the event. “There is no answer to that,” he said.

Earlier this week the Mercedes executive technical director, Paddy Lowe, was also minimising the error from a team perspective. “There has been a great deal of comment concerning our mistake in Monaco and its consequences,” he said. “On behalf of the team, this error should be put into context – it was a single error made in a split second based on incorrect data. Sport is all about split-second decisions, trading risk with reward, and we do not always get these decisions right. But in my opinion this team gets them right more than most.”

The team have steadfastly avoided any finger-pointing in public, although ultimately they must shoulder the blame, whatever Hamilton’s radio requests, as with the data to hand they could have insisted he stay out. Hamilton, however wanted that aspect, the subject of a no doubt exhaustive debrief, also consigned to the dustbin of history.

“Things are good with the team, we have decided to move on to this weekend. I will keep on doing what I’m doing as it has worked pretty good for me until now,” he said, adding that he had full confidence in Mercedes. “Same as always. 100%. I have full trust in the team, we have had pretty incredible success together and one race does not dent the solid foundation that we have.”

With Monaco thus banished, Hamilton has every chance to set his title bid back on course. He took his first grand prix win here in 2007 and of the four races he has finished, he has won three and finished third in the other.

There have been retirements of course, not least last year when his Mercedes suffered an energy recovery unit problem that ultimately caused him to pull over with a brake failure on lap 48. Hence, still without a DNF this season, the team are taking no chances and have installed the first of their new engines for this weekend’s race.

Ferrari also bring a new power unit having spent three of their 10 engine development tokens on the third of the four allotted engine changes allowed across the season.

It is believed the upgrades will offer as much as three-tenths a lap improvement to the seven-tenths in qualifying pace that they trail to Mercedes, although the gap is already closer than that in race pace.

Read more:http://www.theguardian.com

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