Hamilton goes for hat-trick at Grand Prix

Photo: Flickr ph-stop
Photo: Flickr ph-stop

The Monaco Grand Prix pre-event barrage of comments from teams and drivers is well underway before track action starts on Thursday, May 25, three days ahead of the world’s favourite Grand Prix event.

Louis Hamilton has been one of the first to make a contribution, saying that the Monaco Grand Prix is “all about mental strength”. The Mercedes driver is bidding for his third victory after winning in 2008 and again last year in a mix of wet and dry conditions. His controversial late pit-stop in 2015 pushed him down to third place on the podium.

“The most important thing is that you have to learn to walk before you run,” Hamilton said this week. “You have to build up to the pace so that, by the time you work up to that second run in Q3, you’re at 100 percent. It’s a circuit which is all about mental strength, you need to be sharp and clear. Experience counts here too – that helps massively in setting the car up.”

However, Hamilton doesn’t underestimate the challenges. Monaco is notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities and in the urban setting of the Principality pole position is highly coveted. There are also modifications to the cars.

“We have new cars this weekend which are wider and faster, so that’s going to be a massive challenge. In trying to push the car as close as you can to the limit, it’ll be a real test of your awareness of where the car is. I’m sure there will be some brushing of the barriers,” Hamilton said.

Mercedes have an eight-point lead over Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings, with Hamilton six points behind Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ battle. In the recent Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, Hamilton got off to a bad start, despite his pole position, and them climbed back to win the race after a tussle with Vettel in which the Brit shot past the German on the outside of turn one.

The Monaco Grand Prix is always a great spectacle, but changes to the cars and the battle between Hamilton and Vettel promise to add even more interest on Sunday.

Look for Monaco Life’s interview this week with Felipe Massa.