Lewis Hamilton believes that the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix is shaping up to be as unpredictable as ever, as the British driver attempts to take his second career win around the Principality.
Following his disappointing retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix, the 2008 champion is highly motivated to get his title bid back on track with a strong performance around the tight and twisty street circuit.
However with a high possibility of the weather playing a part in this weekend’s proceedings, as well as traffic, Hamilton is fully aware of the challenges ahead.
“I love the Monaco circuit it’s the greatest track in Formula 1.” Hamilton said in McLaren’s Monaco race preview. “My victory there in 2008 is still probably my best win in Formula 1 and one of the greatest moments in my career. It was an incredible day.”
“In 2008, it was wet and, looking at the week ahead, the weather also looks extremely unpredictable, with heavy rain forecast for much of the week.
“Even if it doesn’t rain on the Sunday, the possibility of heavily disrupted practice and qualifying sessions means that we’ll probably go into the race with a chance of one of the most exciting and unpredictable Monaco Grands Prix for many years.”
As a result, Hamilton believes that qualifying and race pit stops will be key if he is to be successful. The 25-year-old will also sport a special helmet design for this weekend in a bid to boost his chances.
“With just a single stop in the race for tyres, there’s going to be less opportunity for strategy to play a role in deciding the outcome,” he continued, “Unless it rains of course.”
“That means qualifying will be more important than ever: while we’re still working hard to improve our qualifying pace, I think that Monaco is a place where the input of the driver is more important than at any other track, so I’m pretty confident that we’ll be able to do a good job.
“In addition, I’ll also be wearing a specially painted helmet for the occasion. When you see it, you’ll know why I’ll be hoping for it to swing the odds in my favour.”
Team-mate Jenson Button is also keen to repeat his victory last year and believes that the key to success in Monaco is to take a patient approach.
“I won at Monaco last year – it was one of the highlights of my season and also of my entire racing career.” said Button. “It’s a race that you grow up watching; you know the circuit, every corner, by heart before you’ve ever driven there, so it’s an extremely special place…”
“To get the best out of the weekend, you’ve really got to build your speed up gradually there are no benefits from attacking from lap one and risking a mistake. The track rubbers in incredibly quickly over the weekend, and it’s all about letting the car naturally find more speed through the corners as the conditions improve and your confidence increases.
“I love the place and I’m really looking forward to getting back there. I think the result is extremely tough to call this year because there are a lot of very competitive drivers in the field, so I’d like to think there’s a good chance of a slightly unpredictable race this weekend.”