After failing to qualify in the top ten for the first time in over three years yesterday, Lewis Hamilton has endured another difficult day during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza as the Mercedes driver could only come home in ninth position.
Starting P12, Hamilton made a good start but he soon ran into trouble with his tires, slipping behind Jenson Button early on. Eventually, Mercedes found that he was suffering from a slow puncture and called for him to pit, only to find that the Briton’s radio had broken. After missing the call twice, Hamilton finally pitted for fresh tires, forcing him onto a two-stop strategy. The 2008 world champion rallied in the final stages of the race, pulling off some fine overtakes to finish ninth, but he is disappointed with the result.
“I gave it my all out there today; the pace of the car was great but unfortunately we paid the price for not qualifying far enough up the field,” Hamilton explained after the race. “My radio failed right at the start of the race and it’s really tough when that happens as you rely on the advice and information from the team to manage your race. I didn’t even know about the slow puncture until after the race so now it makes more sense why we had to make the extra stop.”
However, he admitted that his final stint on the soft tire was good fun, allowing him to push and overtake Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez in the dying moments of the race.
“I did have some fun this afternoon, particularly fighting with Kimi. It’s just tough fighting so far down the field when our car was clearly really quick.”
Mercedes are expected to return to form at the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, and the German team will be keen on recovering second place in the constructors’ championship having lost out to Ferrari this weekend.