Hamilton hoping two-stop race will play into his hands in Monaco after Barcelona debacle

By Simon Cass

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Lewis Hamilton’s chances of victory at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix have been boosted by the news Pirelli are predicting a two-stop race around the twisting streets of the millionaires’ playground.

Hamilton was left dejected after slipping from second on the grid in Spain to finish 12th when his tyre hungry Mercedes failed to translate qualifying speed into race pace as the majority of teams were forced into four stops or more.

But with Hamilton amongst the favourites for pole in Monaco, the hope is the 2008 world champion could be in line for a first win since moving from McLaren to Mercedes on a track where it is notoriously difficult to overtake.

Debacle: Hamilton spent far more time in the pits than he would have liked in Barcelona

Debacle: Hamilton spent far more time in the pits than he would have liked in Barcelona

At home: Hamilton is a big fan of Monaco

At home: Hamilton is a big fan of Monaco

And the fact that the low speed circuit is less demanding on the tyres means Hamilton can hopefully get his nose in front and stay there on a track where Mercedes proved themselves to be strong last year.

Michael Schumacher qualified on pole last season, although a penalty dropped him to sixth on the grid, while Nico Rosberg came home second to Red Bull’s Mark Webber.

Discussing his chances of success this weekend, Hamilton said: ‘Monaco is one of my favourite races of the year and I love driving the streets there. As a driver, you know that you have to perform on every single lap and it's a challenge that I really enjoy.

‘It's a real experience to see the barriers flashing past at high speed and I love the fact that the fans can get so close to the track making for a great atmosphere. Perhaps more than at many other tracks, qualifying and getting the best possible track position is crucial in Monaco, but we have to keep our focus on Sunday as well and keep working to improve our race pace.

‘Whilst there hasn't been a lot of time since Barcelona, we've been working hard to put the disappointment of the last race behind us and focus on the opportunities ahead. Everyone is working really hard and I know we can get there. We just need to keep motivated and work it out together.’

Meanwhile, Pirelli motorsport chief, Paul Hembery, has confirmed planned changes to tyre compounds from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards will be less radical than originally anticipated.

Picturesque: The setting for this weekend's Grand Prix

Picturesque: The setting for this weekend's Grand Prix

Hembery conceded that complaints by fans about the confusing nature of the pit-stop strewn race in Barcelona meant changes were required.

But FIA rules prevent any changes to the tyre composition once the season is underway other than on safety grounds meaning the alterations will be solely focussed on dealing with the spectacular failures which have affected Hamilton and fellow Briton, Force India’s Paul di Resta, amongst others this season.

Hembery claimed Pirelli only wants to make changes ‘with minimal disturbance to the sporting equity’.

‘The changes required would appear less than first envisaged,’ he added. ‘We're trying to find something that is sportingly equitable amongst the vast majority that allows us to rid ourselves of the tread (problem).

Sick and tyred: Pirelli are set to make changes

Sick and tyred: Pirelli are set to make changes

‘We're hopeful we can do that without making such a change that would radically alter the work of any team so far.’

That will be music to the ears of the likes of Ferrari and Lotus who were fiercely critical of the original intention to make the tyres more durable after sacrificing the aerodynamic performance of their cars in order to work in harmony with the fragile rubber.

The same cannot be said for Mercedes and Red Bull who have struggled to maximise their machine’s performance due to tyre worries.

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

It's so frustrating because you can tell the "powers that be" at Sky watched last season then picked all the best races for themselves to broadcast this season. We're lucky they didn't take Silverstone as well, that'll be next year!

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Anyone but Chavilton

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Dream on little boy !! Go Fernando !

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Its going to be interesting thats for sure. It does look like a Mercedies front row if things go as they have the last few races, and looking at last year too. Maybe team orders using one car to hold the pack up to let the other go and win the race - might be a frustrating race for me, being an Alonso fan

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Er ... am I missing something here? Why is everyone saying that Hamilton must do something to beat Rosberg? Anyone look at the points they've acrued? It seems to me that it is Rosberg who must work harder to beat Hamilton. But then I can count so maybe I got it wrong. - fedupofnegativefolk ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Its just the Hamilton haters trying to put pressure on Lewis. I bet they are the same people who were coming out with "The car was built around Lewis" rubbish when Jenson first joined McLaren and Lewis was beating him. You'll never hear them say that Rosberg should really have a sizeable advantage and be streets ahead of Lewis having been bedded into the team for several years.

Click to rate     Rating   15

Common Lewis !! Lets win this ... I pray Lewis win !!! AMEN

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Hope on Hamilton.

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Er ... am I missing something here? Why is everyone saying that Hamilton must do something to beat Rosberg? Anyone look at the points they've acrued? It seems to me that it is Rosberg who must work harder to beat Hamilton. But then I can count so maybe I got it wrong.

Click to rate     Rating   19

Many comments here about a lack of Monaco coverage on the BBC (which, just like so many of the premier sporting events, is being allowed to vanish from the Beeb), but when is Suzy Perry going to be thrown out? They sacked Jonathan Legard so now they have to get rid of that desperate free-loader, Perry.

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It's not just the fans, sangqa. It is also the F1 teams, who wanted the coverage to be on free to air television. Of course Bernie (who is having a little bit of trouble at the moment, bless him) ignores everyone in pursuit of his obscene fortune and flogs it to Sky so that a fraction of people can enjoy it.

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