Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is not used to getting the short end of the stick on race weekends and he very publicly criticised his team during the Monaco Grand Prix wherein he started and finished in seventh place.

Championship rival Max Verstappen won the race in his Red Bull after starting in front. The Dutchman qualified second but inherited the top spot when pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was forced to miss the race due to damage on his Ferrari following a crash during qualifying.

Hamilton had heated conversations with his engineers throughout the race, and he continued to blast his team's decisions as he spoke to the press at the end of the race. "We lost a lot of points today for a really, really poor performance from the team… I'm definitely a little bit surprised by it." He even went so far as to say that he did nothing wrong but the team had a lot to learn from what happened in the race.

In hindsight, Hamilton has now admitted that some of the things he said should have been kept behind closed doors. "I think naturally in the heat of the moment, you don't always say always the best things," he told "I think constructive criticism is always a good thing, better said behind closed doors and that's what we've been doing.

He backtracked further and took part of the blame for what happened. "I think there was no one single person to blame. I was very much part of the decision-making process, and after going back and having a look, and analysing things, there are things that I could have said that would have set a domino effect on." he said.

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend, Hamilton is hoping to retake the championship lead from Verstappen. The Briton lost the narrow lead that he had going into Monaco, after failing to even make it to the podium.

The Mercedes team has a great track record in Baku, winning three of the four races held at the track since 2016. Ferrari has been looking strong once again, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz logging exceptional practice times on Friday. Red Bull remains a threat as usual, and Hamilton is beginning to understand that his path to an eighth world title is not a clear cut as it had initially seemed.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, pictured in November 2020, is aiming to win an eighth world title to overtake Michael Schumacher Clive Mason/POOL