Sir Lewis Hamilton has defended the stewards after some backlash they received during Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, affirming that they did a “great job.”
The race in Monte Carlo got underway proper after a delay of over an hour, and one lap of running behind the Safety Car during that time gave stark reminders of the non-event in Belgium last year.
The rain had begun shortly before the start of the race, and it was extremely light at the time that the race was set to get underway, but race control noticed that there was torrential rain on the radar.
After this, there was a clear patch, and this is when the stewards eventually got the race going under green flag conditions.
The seven-time champion suggested after the race however, that it would have been worth starting as scheduled given that the conditions were not so bad.
“You think they didn’t do a good job?” he asked reporters.
“I was not saying it was a mistake — I don’t know the reason for them not sending us out at the get-go — but we are Formula 1 drivers so [the weather] is not a good enough reason [to delay the race.]
“That is what I was saying. I was like ‘let’s go’ when it was just drizzling a little bit at the beginning.
“We will talk about it in the drivers’ briefing but we should have started the race.”
This was misconstrued by some as a dig at the FIA, and Hamilton took to Instagram to deny this, affirming that, even had they started the race at the allocated time, they would have had to red flag it due to the heavy rain that fell shortly thereafter.
“So the media are saying I criticised the FIA for the last race but it’s absolute rubbish, I thought they did a great job at the weekend,” he wrote on his story.
“Could we have started the race when it was meant to start? Probably, but then they would have had to stop it soon after.
“We raced when it was safe and that’s what’s most important. Please don’t use me to create a negative narrative.”
Hamilton had another unfortunate weekend after being denied a final run in qualifying by a red flag, before spending much of the race stuck behind the slow-moving Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
As a result, he could not get involved in the battle between team-mate Mercedes team-mate George Russell and McLaren’s Lando Norris for fifth.
On another Instagram story, he thanked the fans for their support and vowed to keep working to turn his fortunes around.
“I just wanted to thank you all for your unwavering support, I can’t express how grateful I am for those I saw this weekend and for those watching at home somewhere in the world,” he wrote.
“I appreciate you and I hope you had a great weekend, I’m sorry I haven’t given you any great results this year but I won’t give up, we win and we lose together.
“Tomorrow’s a new day to rise. Sending you love.”
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took his third victory in Formula 1 last weekend ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and team-mate Max Verstappen.