F1 2013 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying: Hamilton battles for pole position
PUBLISHED: 22:14 24 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:51 25 May 2013
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton battles for Mercedes’ fourth consecutive pole position in qualifying for the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.
Despite struggling for race pace, the Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers have dominated the qualifying results in recent grands prix.
Hertfordshire-born Hamilton, 28, was fastest in Chinese GP qualifying and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg then secured back-to-back poles in Bahrain and Spain.
Hamilton also started on the front row in Barcelona, with the team’s one-lap pace blistering, although tyre troubles meant Lewis finished only 12th in Spain last time out.
The 2008 F1 world champion from Hertfordshire will be looking for the Silver Arrows’ fourth pole position in a row during qualifying around the famous Circuit de Monaco on Saturday afternoon.
Monaco Grand Prix
* Race distance: 78 laps (260.520km/161.887 miles)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/12:00 (GMT)
* Circuit length: 3.340km/2.075 miles
* 2012 winne: Mark Webber (Red Bull RB8) 78 laps in 1hr46m06.557s 147.312km/h)
* 2012 pole: Mark Webber (Red Bull RB8) 1m14.381s 161.654km/h)
* Lap record: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m14.439s (161.528km/h)
Rosberg was fastest in both of Thursday’s free practice sessions in the mega-rich Principality on the Mediterranean coast, with Hamilton second quickest in P2.
After practice, Hamilton said: “The car is almost there and the pace looks good, so we’ll look at the data and work on those areas which can still be improved before the weekend.”
Rosberg added: “It seems that we are quick again on one lap, but we have been working hard again to make improvements to our race pace.
“It will be interesting to see where we are compared to the others over the weekend.”
Securing a good grid position around the tortuous streets of Monaco is crucial, with just three of the past 30 grands prix having been won by a car starting outside the top three.
It’s a circuit that takes no prisoners, where a moment’s late-braking, or an over-enthusiastic squeeze of the throttle, can easily wipe a corner from the car.
Due to the tight and twisty nature of the barrier-lined track, overtaking is notoriously difficult. Only three DRS overtakes have taken place at the last three races combined, and 21 competitive non-DRS passes.
After dominating the opening two practice sessions, Mercedes director Toto Wolff said: “Our rivals will be very strong on both Saturday and Sunday, so we will get our heads down and keep working to build on this good start.”
Qualifying for the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix starts on Saturday at 1pm BST.
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