Hamilton and Wolff disagree on key Monaco GP decision

Sir Lewis Hamilton finished eighth at the 2022 Monaco GP which was delayed by 70 minutes.

Lewis Hamilton finished where he started the Monaco Grand Prix, in eighth place.

The seven-time World Champion had strong pace, however, was stuck behind Fernando Alonso for almost the entirety of it.

The Alpine driver was running around three to five seconds a lap slower, bunching up the pack behind.

Hamilton labelled this as “typical Monaco”, however, he was more concerned by the mess and chaos that occurred when the race was supposed to start.

Around ten minutes before the scheduled start-time, rain began to fall at the Circuit de Monaco.

The rain caught everyone out by surprise, with no weather radars detecting the heavy downpour that commenced.

READ: Wolff: Mercedes’ position is ‘not acceptable’

As a result, the race’s start was delayed, before being red flagged when the formation laps got underway.

Many were left perplexed as to why the race didn’t start on time, Max Verstappen was one of them.

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“What are we waiting for?” questioned the Dutchman.

Ex-F1 driver Jolyon Palmer called the delay “odd”, however, the FIA later revealed that the start was delayed due to a power outage.

Hamilton was one of the drivers who believes the sport got the decision wrong, explaining how rain isn’t a “good enough reason” to delay a race.

“You think they didn’t do a good job?” Hamilton asked the media.

“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,”

“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.”

Whilst Hamilton was against the delay, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff supported the director’s decision.

Wolff explained his thoughts on the race, and how the layout yet again needs to be investigated.

“That was the usual chaotic race in Monaco,” Wolff began.

“And, once again, a lesson that we need to look at this circuit’s layout so that people can’t drive around five seconds off the pace in a procession.

“This is a fantastic venue and spectacle, but it would be great if the racing could be at the same level.

“With the length of the race and the delays and interruptions, it felt more like an NFL game than a Grand Prix.

“But I’m not sure that much more could have been done.

“We need to give the race directors credit for managing a difficult situation. The rain was torrential, then there was an issue with the connectivity for the TV broadcast, which meant we couldn’t get going.”

Monaco is yet to be confirmed as a round for next season, with the future of the circuit looking uncertain.

Wolff is adamant that Monaco must remain on the Formula 1 calendar, with the Mercedes boss believing it would be a “shame” should the famous venue not feature in 2023.

“I’m biased. I live here, I love it and what Monaco has to offer is spectacular,” Wolff said on Sunday.

READ: Leclerc tears into Ferrari for making ‘too many mistakes’

“F1 is important for Monaco and Monaco is important for F1, but it needs a positive approach from both parties.

“Monaco has to embrace the new realities of what the sport stands for today and the impact it has on the world.

“And at the same time, Monaco will always be respected within F1 as something which is special. No one should take things for granted. If we didn’t race in Monaco, it would be a shame from my perspective as a team owner,” concluded the Mercedes team principal.