The Silver Arrows missed out on silverware for the first time in 2017, as Valtteri and Lewis ended a tough Monaco Grand Prix weekend off the podium, in P4 and P7.
Valtteri: Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful
Valtteri started from third and kept the pair of rapid Ferraris in touch throughout the opening stint of Sunday’s race. But the Finn slipped back to fourth as the long-running Daniel Ricciardo pipped him out of the pits.
Valtteri spent the remainder of the race bottled up between the two Red Bulls, unable to clear Ricciardo, but with Max Verstappen covered behind him.
“Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful,” said Valtteri. “It's been a long week and we've worked so hard, so it's disappointing to miss out.
“I was stuck in the traffic while Daniel [Ricciardo] was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium.
“It's been a really tough weekend for us and we've just been missing pace. Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate, so we have work to do. We have to learn from this, but there's a long year ahead.
“Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story.”
Lewis: We'll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out
Lewis started down in 13th after a tricky Qualifying on Saturday, but with an excellent bit of team strategy, plus a series of rapid-fire personal best laps when it counted, came home in seventh. He put serious pressure on Carlos Sainz late on, but could not find a past the Toro Rosso.
“I'm really, really happy that I was able to fight back to seventh,” said Lewis. “The strategists said P10 was probably the maximum today, so it feels great to have beaten that target. To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday is a good recovery.
“Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end! I'm just grateful to have ended up in P7. I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn't over. We'll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada. We've got a real fight on our hands, but there are still 14 races to go.”
Toto: Ferrari dominated the race today
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff praised both drivers, on a weekend when the red cars clearly had the advantage.
“Ferrari dominated the race today and first of all we must congratulate them for that performance,” said Toto. “But our job is to analyse what happened to us this weekend and then to understand it.
“Today was a day of damage limitation and the drivers did that as well as they possibly could have done. Valtteri drove a controlled and consistent race. He was unfortunate to lose P3 at the pit stops but, with two cars, Red Bull had the chance to pincer him and they made that work. We successfully covered Verstappen but then Riccardo was able to unleash some lap times that we just couldn't match.
Toto: We have limited the damage
“As for Lewis, he did a great job to take every opportunity that came his way and climb to P7, which was the maximum of our expectations for him today. There were also glimpses of competitive lap times during the later part of the race on the super soft tyre. But the reality is that we were in and out of the working window of the tyres this weekend and that made our performance too inconsistent overall.
“We have limited the damage and need to work hard to understand our weakness and come back much stronger in Montreal in two weeks' time.”
James: Both drivers did their utmost today
After a rough weekend for the team, Technical Director James Allison says it’s crucial that the Silver Arrows do everything to bounce back on form in Montreal.
“Both drivers did their utmost today to gather as many valuable points as possible for the championship ahead,” said James. “But it is clear that this weekend we didn't give them the equipment necessary to do better.
“This has been a tough week for us and we now need to go back to the factory and make sure we do everything in our power to ensure it remains our weakest result of the year - and that we can return to form in Canada.”
This epic 2017 Formula 1 season continues in Monteal in a fortnight, as the Silver Arrows head to the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve for the Canadian Grand Prix.