George Russell had a thought about F1 Monaco GP win, as Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff relay on their strategy.

It wasn’t as bad of a F1 Monaco GP weekend for Mercedes as the last few races has been. They looked competitive all-through, maybe even a touch better than Red Bull even though they were slightly behind the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.

They qualified well with Russell in fifth and Hamilton seventh, sandwiching Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. But their strategy to start on the hard compound came undone when there was a red flag at the start of the grand prix and they were forced to switch to medium.

For Russell, there was glimmer of race win chance before the red flag when Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz crashed out since he was the first car on the hard compound. Once on the medium, it was all about survival against Verstappen and even teammate Hamilton.

And he managed to do so too, defending from Verstappen in the last few laps after early slow run phase. “When we lined up on the grid the first time and we were on the hards and the four drives ahead were on the mediums, I was like, ‘this is perfect’,” said Russell to TV media. “Then when Carlos had his puncture, I genuinely thought, ‘we’ve got a shot here’ – minimum for a podium, potentially even victory – being on that different strategy.

“We were just going to play a bit of a team game to try and boost our chances. But as soon as that red flag came out, everything went out the window. Seventy-odd laps on that medium, closing the gap in on Ferrari and McLaren at the end, I think we can arguably say it was probably one of our best weekends.

“The team have done an amazing job bringing these upgrades to the car. Having the confidence to put on here in Monaco, as well. There’s a bit of pressure on my side not to dink it. But I think this has been a real positive, weekend for us. I think we can carry that through to the next races,” summed up Russell.

With the Brit dictating strategy pretty much, both Verstappen and even Hamilton couldn’t do much about it. The latter got the chance to pit strategically due to the gap to Yuki Tsunoda, but it also gave a chance for the former to pit at the same time.

It was a crucial situation but Mercedes missed out in getting Hamilton ahead of Verstappen. In fact, that was the only chance where it could have happened. “There is not much more to add to what everyone has said, it was uneventful,” said the Brit to media. “It was going to be long either way, whichever tyre you were on, but I wanted to start on the hard [medium].

“I felt that something that was going to happen at the start of the race and normally that would create opportunity to switch over to the hards and go to the end. But at the end of the day, everyone drove so slow that every tyre made it to the end. So, it didn’t make any difference.

“What to say, that is for you to comment and report on. I don’t know how it felt watching but I am sure people were falling asleep. I can only imagine. Ultimately, I think our tyres can do a whole race. So too hard a tyre compound here, and got to find ways to spice it up, maybe mandatory three stops of something to spice it up a bit more,” summed up Hamilton, reflecting on lack of racing in Monaco.

On team side, Wolff admitted of miscoummincation with respect to the pit stop of Hamilton, where they tried to make it work but were in two minds considering they wanted the tyre to last well or go for a hard start, which should have been the case.

“That was a miscommunication first between us on the pitwall that we got that wrong,” said Wolff. “It should have been an ‘out-lap critical’, trying to undercut. But then there was a debate whether any out-lap would be enough from the new tyre. And so the message he got was at best confusing but probably wrong.

“It should have been an out-lap critical and the worry in the background was that if we thrashed that tyre in a single lap, then what would happen later. But in summary wrong message to Lewis, this was the team’s fault. We wanted to be close to Verstappen and then do the undercut, which obviously we got the messaging completely wrong.”

Here’s how F1 Monaco GP panned out

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