'Not good enough': Lewis Hamilton hits out at Monaco GP 'chaos'

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Pictured here, Lewis Hamilton at the Monaco GP.
Lewis Hamilton says he couldn't understand why the Monaco GP didn't immediately get underway before the rain turned torrential. Pic: Getty

Lewis Hamilton has vented his frustrations at the lengthy delay that preceded a wild Monaco Grand Prix, ultimately won by Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Perez claimed a chaotic and thrilling Monaco GP victory as Charles Leclerc's dreams of winning on home soil were shattered by his flat-footed Ferrari team.

TERRIFYING: Mick Schumacher's car splits in two in horrific scenes at Monaco GP

OUCH: Teammate's confession rubs salt into Ricciardo's wounds

The race was delayed by more than an hour following a torrential downpour minutes before the lights were set to go out on Formula One's most iconic race.google-showcase-au

Heavy rain saw the scheduled 3pm start delayed by nine minutes, and then again to 3:16pm, before the rain intensified.

It was 70 minutes before the action did eventually get underway, leaving drivers and fans scratching their heads over the hold-up.

“I don’t know the reason for them not sending us out at the get-go, but we are Formula One drivers so [the weather] is not a good enough reason,” Hamilton said.

“I was like ‘let’s go’ when it was just drizzling a little bit at the beginning. We will talk about it in the drivers’ briefing but we should have started the race.”

The FIA defended the lengthy delays, saying the initial one was to give teams time to switch to wet weather tyres and the lengthier second delay was due to the heavy rain causing a power cut which affected the race's starting system.

The race got underway - albeit behind the safety car - but as the rain continued to pepper the Monte Carlo asphalt, Eduardo Freitas, officiating just his second F1 race, suspended the event after just two laps.

Red Bull rival Max Verstappen could also be heard asking “what are we waiting for?” while commentator Jolyon Palmer shared the frustrations of many fans by describing it as an "odd delay".

Speaking after the race, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff leapt to the defence of officials and explained that the power outage affected the TV broadcast of the race.

However, he did admit that the layout of the Monaco circuit - which is notoriously difficult for drivers to overtake on - needed to be addressed.

“That was the usual chaotic race in Monaco,” Wolff said afterwards.

“And, once again, a lesson that we need to look at this circuit’s layout so that people can’t drive around five seconds off the pace in a procession.

“This is a fantastic venue and spectacle, but it would be great if the racing could be at the same level.

“With the length of the race and the delays and interruptions, it felt more like an NFL game than a Grand Prix.

“But I’m not sure that much more could have been done.

“We need to give the race directors credit for managing a difficult situation. The rain was torrential, then there was an issue with the connectivity for the TV broadcast, which meant we couldn’t get going.”

Sergio Perez takes advantage of Ferrari slip-up

Leclerc navigated the rain-hit start to control the early stages of the race, before his chances of claiming victory in his home GP went up in smoke.

Leclerc's race fell apart when Ferrari's strategy was exposed by Red Bull. Perez moved from third to first in the switch from wet to slick rubber, with Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz second and world champion Max Verstappen third.

Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing Honda celebrate after the race of Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco City Circuit in Monaco-Ville, Monaco, France, 29 May 2022 (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing Honda celebrate after the race of Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco City Circuit in Monaco-Ville, Monaco, France, 29 May 2022 (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Leclerc slipped from pole to cross the line in fourth, one place ahead of George Russell with Lando Norris sixth.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, who wrote off his McLaren in second practice on Friday, improved one place from his grid position to finish 13th.

Hamilton started eighth and finished in the same position, while Mick Schumacher walked away unharmed from a crash which sensationally split his Haas in two.

On lap 28, the TV cameras dramatically cut to a picture of Schumacher's car torn in two pieces at the high-speed swimming pool chicane.

The German veered into the barrier on the right, before pirouetting across the track and slamming into the armco barrier on the opposite side.

"I am OK," the 23-year-old said. "I just don't understand it."

Pictured here, the horror crash that ended Mick Schumacher's race at the Monaco GP.
Mick Schumacher walked away from the horror crash at the Monaco Grand Prix. (Photo by CHRISTIAN BRUNA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A virtual safety car and proper safety car were then deployed before a full red flag to remove the two parts of Schumacher's wrecked machine and repair the barrier.

The drivers returned to the pits and Leclerc was visibly furious as he stomped off to the Ferrari garage.

After a 20-minute delay, the race was underway again, but with a three-hour time limit, only 64 of the allocated 77 laps were completed.

Despite a late charge from Sainz, Perez held his nerve to win for a first time in Monte Carlo.

Verstappen extended his championship lead over Leclerc from six to nine points.

with agencies

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