Lewis Hamilton believes he cannot afford another poor weekend if he wants to beat Formula One title rival Sebastian Vettel to this year's world championship.
The Mercedes driver fell 25 points behind Vettel after the German secured Ferrari's first victory around the iconic streets of Monte Carlo in 16 years, while Hamilton recovered to finish seventh. A shock early exit from qualifying left Hamilton just 13th on the grid in Monaco, but he managed to make up six positions to claim six points in what turned out to be a case of damage limitation.
It is the second race weekend this season that Hamilton has failed to finish on the podium -- while Vettel has finished no lower than second in 2017 -- following the Briton's uncharacteristically below-par display in Russia. Hamilton admits Mercedes has work to do in order to rectify its inconsistent performances.
"Of course I can't afford another weekend like this," Hamilton said. "But just because you can't afford something it does not mean it is not going to happen. There's no point dwelling on the fact you cannot afford it, you just work towards trying to rectify whatever issues you have and hope you do not come across it again. It's not like we came here unprepared, things just did not get off right.
"The car was in a really different place then we ever really had it before and it was definitely unexpected for the engineers, they corrected it and it was worse. We went back to this unknown scenario we are in, which happens to be, it's okay on one car and not okay on mine. But as I said we will regroup.
"The Ferrari seems to work everywhere and these next 14 races are going to be very, very difficult," he added. "They have had arguably the strongest car all year, a little bit like our car last year which worked everywhere. This car currently is not working at every single place we go to. The more races we do, the more we learn and the stronger we get."
Despite Mercedes' struggles in Monaco, Hamilton is pleased to have salvaged points he believes could turn out to be "valuable" in the closing stages of the title run in.
"I was devastated [after qualifying] but we still came away with some points," he said. "I didn't make any mistakes, I got these points and at the end of the season maybe those points will be valuable. Maybe they won't but I'd like to think so. We know that the Ferraris are not bulletproof, they have things potentially coming up with all the turbos they've used or potentially used, so we will see."