Lewis Hamilton vows Mercedes will respond to Monaco Grand Prix woes but admits Baku worry

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Lewis Hamilton was left bitterly disappointed after losing his championship lead in Monaco after struggling all weekend in his Mercedes after a disastrous weekend for the seven-time world champions.

Title rival Max Verstappen claimed a momentous Monaco GP victory as Mercedes endured a disastrous race with Valtteri Bottas retiring from second and Hamilton a lowly seventh.

Hamilton, who started seventh on the grid after struggling throughout the weekend, lost positions to midfield cars through an ill-timed pit-stop from Mercedes before his team-mate was forced to retire from the race altogether after the wheel nut machined onto the axle and couldn’t be removed.

But the victory meant Verstappen and Red Bull have taken the lead in both championships; Verstappen – now four points clear of Hamilton – in the Drivers’ Championship for the first time in his career, and Red Bull topping the Constructors’ for the first time since 2013.

But it was a day to forget for Hamilton and his team, who was heard fuming on the radio after losing out to three separate drivers mid-race thanks to a pitstop blunder.

Max Verstappen hails ‘special’ Monaco Grand Prix win

“Three places it cost me,” said a dejected Hamilton speaking to Sky Sports F1.

“I don’t really have a reaction to it, I think we do all our talking in the background and we’ll work together and try to come out of this stronger.

“We underperformed as a team all weekend, from the get go, so we’ll just put our focus on the next race.

“Congratulations to Max and his team, they did a great job.”

And looking ahead to the next street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, Hamilton said: “I would be guessing, but it’s another street circuit, another one that’s a really cold, really smooth circuit – another one we could easily struggle at again, similar to here.

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So we’re just going to have to work and see how we can minimise that loss.”

Meanwhile Verstappen was left elated with the win, admitting winning Monaco is something special for an F1 driver.

“It’s of course it’s so special round here to win, and also for me the first time on the podium here, amazing race,” said.

“A lot of laps round here and you really have to keep your focus. But yeah, it’s really cool.”

And asked if at any point during the race he had concerns, Verstappen admitted: “You never know what’s going to happen, but it’s all about looking after your tyres, finding a good stop gap, the others went earlier so that made it a bit easier for me.

“I was pretty much in control [the whole race].

“Of course you always want to win this Grand Prix, I remember when I was very little already, watching this Grand Prix, so of course when you’re standing here I am very proud.

“But mostly thinking ahead, it’s a very long season, but this is a great way to continue.”

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