MONACO, 23rd May – Lewis Hamilton is confident that if can grab pole position for Mercedes on Saturday he can fend off all his supposedly faster rivals to win Sunday’s keenly-anticipated 71st Monaco Grand Prix.
The 28-year-old Briton, who has a special like for street circuits and one previous glorious victory on the Mediterranean street circuit to his name, in his championship winning season of 2008, said Wednesday that he will do all he can to snatch pole and realise his dream.
“If you can get on the front row here you have a much better chance of staying in front than perhaps we have done in the last races,” said Hamilton.
“It is going to be tough still because people last year pushed to a one-stop strategy, and people might want to do the same thing this time which means doing 40 laps which will be very tough on our car.”
He added that, contrary to the team’s approach at previous races where team-mate Nico Rosberg started on pole, this time he wanted to concentrate on qualifying and stick with that kind of set-up.
Mercedes are currently on a hot streak as the best qualifiers having reeled off a hat-trick of poles in China, thanks to Hamilton, and then both Bahrain and Spain, with Rosberg.
“In the last race we tried to sort the car more for the race and it didn’t help at all,” he said.
“For me it goes to show that there isn’t a race set-up versus a single lap set-up, so I am going to work hard this weekend to get that qualifying lap set-up because position is everything here.
“If we can get on the front row that will put us in good stead for the race. In 2007 I was second and I could not get past Fernando (Alonso), last year no one could get past (Mark) Webber – it was just a train. You can create a train here.”