Lewis Hamilton has 'work to do' ahead of 2017 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying
PUBLISHED: 17:44 25 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 28 May 2017
Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has work to do in Monte Carlo ahead of 2017 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying.
Despite topping the morning practice timesheets, the Mercedes motor racer from Hertfordshire was only eighth fastest around the famous street circuit in second practice.
World championship leader Sebastian Vettel went quickest for Ferrari with a lap of 1m 12.720s – more than a second faster than Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was second in practice with Kimi Raikkonen third for Ferrari.
Hamilton, the 32-year-old F1 star from Stevenage, topped the morning session with 1m 13.425s, with Silver Arrows colleague Valtteri Bottas 0.366s shy in P4.
However, on a mixed day for Mercedes, Hamilton ended the day with the eighth fastest time in the afternoon session of 1m 13.873s, with Valtteri 10th quickest with 1m 13.902s.
That leaves the Mercedes with plenty to do ahead of Monaco GP qualifying around the tight and twisty circuit on Saturday, with Ferrari and Red Bull in the mix for pole position come qualifying.
Three-time world champion Hamilton said: “We didn’t have the greatest day today.
“Practice one was actually really good and we were quickest, but then in second practice we just struggled to extract the grip from the tyres and we were sliding around a lot.
“I’m not sure why the tyres weren’t working but the difference between the two sessions was night and day.
“We’ve got some work to do ahead of Saturday that’s for sure, but I’m confident the team can work it out.”
Last year’s Monaco Grand Prix winner added: “Monaco is always amazing to drive, but this is definitely the best car I’ve driven around here.
“Ferrari are very quick again and Red Bull are also looking good this weekend.
“We’re looking forward to a real fight on Saturday.”
After finishing well off the pace in the afternoon, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said: “Practice two was difficult and we struggled with the pace over one lap.
“We made some changes between practice one and practice two but we clearly went in the wrong direction – that’s why both of us were struggling.
“When the car isn’t quite right you lose a lot of time in Monaco.
“We tried to go back with the set-up and it felt better but by that point we’d already put a lot of laps into the tyres.
“At least we’ve learned what not to do with the set-up here.
“It’s a shame but we have a full day tomorrow to analyse everything and come back stronger on Saturday. It will be close again at the top I’m sure.”
James Allison, the Mercedes team’s technical director, admitted it was a mixed day for the Silver Arrows.
He said: “After a very positive morning session with both cars and drivers, the afternoon proved more difficult and we clearly took a step in the wrong direction with the car set-up over the break.
“We will have a good think about it tomorrow in order to put things right for Saturday.
“But I think we can be encouraged by the pace and consistency that we were able to demonstrate in FP1.”