Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes car felt ‘horrendous’ in qualifying as he struggles to P8

Lewis Hamilton (8th) and George Russell (6th) both praying for rain in Sunday’s Monaco GP; Charles Leclerc targets ‘dream’ win from pole; Watch F1’s showpiece race live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm, with extensive build-up from 12.30pm

Last Updated: 29/05/22 12:21 pm


Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes car felt “horrendous” during the Monaco GP qualifying as he only managed eighth on the grid, and claims rain is the only thing that can prevent more misery in Sunday’s race.

Hamilton, albeit hampered by red flags as he couldn’t complete a final lap, finished over a second off pole on Saturday and was outpaced by George Russell again, with his team-mate grabbing sixth.

Hamilton and Russell were both once again suffering with bouncing and a lack of pace compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 how the car felt, Hamilton replied: “Horrendous. It feels pretty bad here.

“Very bumpy for some reason. It’s very hard for us to get below a second of the [Ferrari and Red Bull] guys, it takes a lot of risk. “

George Russell says he hopes rain will affect the Monaco Grand Prix and give his Mercedes team a better chance of a good result.

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George Russell says he hopes rain will affect the Monaco Grand Prix and give his Mercedes team a better chance of a good result.

George Russell says he hopes rain will affect the Monaco Grand Prix and give his Mercedes team a better chance of a good result.

Mercedes were hoping to build on their Spanish GP momentum this weekend but were beaten by the McLaren of Lando Norris in qualifying, and encountered more, yet different, bouncing on track.

“Yesterday was a bad day and today the car felt a little bit better,” Hamilton said. “in qualifying we made some changes and seemed to be a little bit closer.

With the perfect lap, I think we could have been maybe six tenths behind, but that’s still a decent chunk. “

Hamilton said he didn’t think his finishing position would have been much different without the red flags, though he did add that it was just another example of bad luck for him in F1 2022.

Sergio Perez loses the rear on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull.

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Sergio Perez loses the rear on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull.

Sergio Perez loses the rear on his flying lap and slides into the wall, sealing pole position for Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz crashes into the parked Red Bull.

The seven-time world champion is also hoping for rain in the race, with a 60% chance of showers in Monte Carlo on Sunday with temperatures way down.

“I am not doing any dancing but I do not want it to rain so I am not just driving around in the dry in the eighth,” he stated.

“You can’t overtake so I’m hoping that the weather is playing up and maybe we can do a different strategy.

“We were not very good in the low-speed corners at the last race so I anticipated it would be difficult, but it is worse than we anticipated because it is super-bouncy.

Lewis Hamilton looks back on some of his most memorable moments from the Monaco Grand Prix over the years.

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Lewis Hamilton looks back on some of his most memorable moments from the Monaco Grand Prix over the years.

Lewis Hamilton looks back on some of his most memorable moments from the Monaco Grand Prix over the years.

“It would be nice to have some luck for once. I have been having bad luck all year so it is bound to stop at some stage.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted the W13 car was “too stiff” and “too bouncy” for Monaco’s unique and demanding layout, with Ferrari and Red Bull – as they have been all season – much faster than world champions.

Russell, like Hamilton, said “bring on the rain” and continued: “It is obviously a unique race here in Monaco.

“We obviously wanted more there is no doubt but as I said before the weekend we have our baseline now and we believe we can work from there.

“But we are under no illusions that Red Bull and Ferrari are finding a lot of pace and what they showed this weekend was impressive.”

The Monaco Grand Prix, F1’s jewel in the crown, is live at 2pm on Sky Sports F1, with extensive build-up from 12.30pm.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc analyzes his pole lap for his home race in Monaco.

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc analyzes his pole lap for his home race in Monaco.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc analyzes his pole lap for his home race in Monaco.

Leclerc: A ‘dream’ to win in Monaco

Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, is targeting a dream home win at the Monaco GP after securing pole for Sunday’s race.

Twelve months ago, Leclerc also put his car on pole in Monaco. However, a crash in qualifying meant he, ultimately, was unable to start the race.

The 24-year-old has endured terrible luck on home soil, having never finished a race around the Principality, but Leclerc has fresh hope of an elusive triumph.

Charles Leclerc says he dreams of winning his home race in Monaco having claimed pole position for Sunday’s race.

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Charles Leclerc says he dreams of winning his home race in Monaco having claimed pole position for Sunday’s race.

Charles Leclerc says he dreams of winning his home race in Monaco having claimed pole position for Sunday’s race.

“Of course, I dream of winning here,” he told Sky Sports F1. “Let’s see how it goes. I am approaching this race just like I did for the other races, and it has worked out.”

After warmer conditions during FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, rain could arrive in Monaco on Sunday, although Leclerc is not overly concerned.

“Dry conditions are a bit more predictable, but whatever comes, we are competitive so we will be fine,” he said.

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