Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has declared Lewis Hamilton’s Monaco Grand Prix victory as a relief following the misfortune he has endured so far in the 2016 Formula 1 season.
After numerous technical issues this season, allied to poor starts and his crash with teammate Nico Rosberg in Spain, Hamilton finally ended his eight-race winless streak – his worst run since the end of 2013 – with his second win in Monaco and 44th of his F1 career.
With Rosberg only managing seventh after a difficult race, the gap in the drivers’ standings between the duo is now just 24 points.
“These last couple of weeks [since the incident in Barcelona] have strengthened him and strengthened our relationship. That is how I perceive it,” Wolff said. “If you go through really bad times together it builds the relationship, gives it even more strength.
“We’ve had many discussions and difficult moments, but in the end this is just what the doctor ordered. We needed that win.
“Although with Nico it didn’t go well for him, it is just a big relief we have been able to score this win with him [Hamilton] after such a terrible streak of bad luck.”
Hamilton sympathized with Daniel Ricciardo on Sunday after a pit stop error by Red Bull cost the Australian victory, with Hamilton having lost the win a year ago following a strategy blunder from Mercedes.
Asked if he felt a sense of justice, Hamilton said: “No. People have asked me if I feel relieved, and that’s the first I’ve been asked whether justice was done. But I came here thinking, ‘I’ve just got to go and do it.’ No one’s going to give it to me, it’s not going to come out of thin air, it’s not going to just happen. I’ve got to go and earn it.
“I didn’t know whether I could win the race, but knowing it had rained definitely opened up the window of opportunity. If it had been dry there was probably no chance.
“As soon as it rained, having experienced it here in 2008 [when he won], I knew anything could happen. I was just dead certain I would be on it. And I was better in this race than I was in 2008.”