Lewis Hamilton says he is proud of the way Mercedes had honest and difficult discussions when debriefing the performance in Monaco ahead of this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Mercedes struggled during practice in Monaco and while Valtteri Bottas was able to improve in time for qualifying, Hamilton felt his team took the wrong setup direction as he qualified and finished seventh. Having been vocal about his dissatisfaction at the time, Hamilton says the way the team has responded in the weeks between races is one of its biggest strengths.
“The debriefs were great,” Hamilton said. “Really proud to work with such a determined and really committed group of people. There’s never any finger-pointing, we just work together. We have difficult discussions — we don’t feel out of place to question people’s opinions and we spark a lot of debate. There’s a huge deep dive into what we can do better and that’s why we are the great team that we are.”
Hamilton admits he wishes he had been slightly less critical of his team’s performance in public.
“I think naturally, in the heat of the moment, you don’t always say the best things. I think constructive criticism is always a good thing, better said behind closed doors and that’s what we have been doing.
“I think there was no one single person to blame and I was very much part of the decision-making process. After going back over things and analyzing things, there were things that I said that would have set a domino effect on. So we know we could have done better and one race doesn’t define us.
“Of course, you always try to do better in the future and as I’ve said, we win and we lose as a team. We will push forwards and hope for better.”
The defending champion is sure there will be new tests for Mercedes to face in Baku, too, despite it also being a street circuit venue.
“A slightly different circuit with different requirements, and there’s obviously the temperature difference — it’s a bit different here this weekend,” Hamilton noted. “So I think a different set of challenges probably this weekend. I don’t think necessarily the same as we saw in the last one.”
The current forecast for Baku calls for sunny skies and temperatures around 80 degrees F throughout the weekend.