The seven-time world champion endured a poor qualifying and wound up only seventh on the grid for Sunday’s race in Monte Carlo with a time that was seventh tenths slower than polesitter Charles Leclerc’s effort.

After qualifying, Hamilton said he was planning to have “tough discussions” with Mercedes having felt the team could have done a better job.

Wolff confirmed the team had engaged in a “very productive and tough debriefing” and admitted that Mercedes didn't give Hamilton what he needed in qualifying. 

“This team has a brutal honesty and transparency within itself and we didn’t get things right,” said Wolff.

“It’s not completely clear yet how all the tuning possibilities were interacting with each other, but I would say we were not having enough grip in each of those runs and probably linked to tyre temperature.

“Again, we need to analyse that, but one thing is for sure, we were not competitive. We did not provide Lewis with the right car to build up the confidence and based on a good gripping car that he would like to have.

“All of us together, we have not done a good enough job today.”

Wolff insisted he is “not surprised” that Hamilton was critical of the team, adding Mercedes welcomes such feedback in order to improve.


“We want the drivers to speak their mind and there was a lot of frustration,” he said. “When you are finishing qualifying in P7 in Monaco you know pretty much that is the end of the weekend.

“Venting your frustration is absolutely OK, and no one in the team takes it the hard way because we express it the other way around too.

"He is the first to acknowledge and apologise when things go wrong, he has done it publically and privately, but as a group that is one of our big assets that made us champions in the past – we can take it on the chin.

“There was one particular aspect of tyre heating we discussed this morning and on Thursday night where we could have taken a different direction and a direction he was interested to pursue but we didn’t.

“And that was exactly the content of our discussions now – go into an exploration mode when we expect much colder temperatures.”

Wolff said the team has now closed the chapter on qualifying and is fully focused on maximising its result in the race, despite acknowledging that progress will be extremely tricky.

“The discussion we had now was so direct that we can close the chapter of qualifying for the weekend,” he explained.

“We know where we need to work and which things we need to tackle to prevent similar weekends in the future and make sure we go in a better direction.

“Closing that chapter means concentrating on the race. P7 is not a good starting point for Lewis, but who knows what happens in the race. And Valtteri’s P3 is something he can build upon.

“If we have a clever pit stop strategy, if our car proves to go long on the tyres, which was always an asset this year, it opens up opportunities.

“This is what we need to concentrate on and if we are ending up third and seventh we need to take it on the chin, and if we can finish in better positions, I would very much hope so.

“But Monaco, obviously, isn’t a place where you have lots of overtaking opportunity.”