Lewis Hamilton was a man of few words following his defeat in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, saying after the race that it was impossible for him to express how he felt after Mercedes cost him a likely victory.
Hamilton had led the entirety of the race from pole position before the safety car came out with 15 laps remaining in the race.
Mercedes believed that Hamilton’s lead of 19 seconds would be enough to allow him to pit and rejoin the track still in first place, only for him to emerge in third behind teammate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Despite having the advantage of fresh tires, the Briton was unable to fight past Vettel, eventually finishing the race in third place as title rival Rosberg cut his lead at the top of the standings to ten points.
“I can’t really express the way I feel at the moment,” Hamilton said in the post-race press conference. “So I won’t even attempt to. You rely on the team.
“I saw a screen, it looked like the team was out and I thought that Nico had pitted. Obviously I couldn’t see the guys behind so I thought the guys behind were pitting.
“The team said to stay out, I said ‘these tyres are going to drop in temperature,’ and what I was assuming was that these guys would be on options and I was on the harder tire.
“So, they said to pit. Without thinking I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same.”
Hamilton admitted that it was particularly painful to lose in Monaco, a race that has a special importance to him thanks to the efforts of his hero and six-time event winner Ayrton Senna.
“This is a race that has been very close to my heart for many years and so it was very important, it was a great feeling leading the race,” Hamilton said.
“I had so much pace as I have for many many years, including last year. I could have easily had that gap last year as well.
“Today, I didn’t really have to push too much, I could have doubled the lead if I needed it so on the one hand it’s a good thing that I had that pace and I’m grateful for that. You live to fight another day.”