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Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes car felt ‘awful’ in qualifying as he struggled for P8

Lewis Hamilton (8th) and George Russell (6th) both pray for rain at Sunday’s Monaco GP; Charles Leclerc aims for “dream” victory from pole; Watch F1’s flagship race live on Sky Sports F1 at 14:00 with full build-up from 12:30

Last updated: 05/29/22 10:12 am

Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes car felt “awful” during qualifying for the Monaco GP as it finished just eighth on the grid and claims rain is the only thing that can prevent more misery in Sunday’s race.

Hamilton, despite being hampered by red flags after failing to complete a final lap, finished Saturday’s race over a second off pole and was passed again by George Russell while his team-mate finished sixth.

Hamilton and Russell once again suffered from bounce and lack of pace compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.

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

“Very bumpy for some reason. It’s very difficult for us to get under a second [Ferrari and Red Bull] Guys, it’s a big risk.”

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

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

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

Mercedes had hoped to build on their Spanish GP momentum this weekend but were beaten by Lando Norris’ McLaren in qualifying and encountered more but different hops on track.

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

With the perfect lap we could have been maybe six tenths down, 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, although adding it was just another example of bad luck for him in F1 2022.

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

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

Sergio Perez loses his tail on his flying lap and slides into the wall, securing 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 per cent chance of showers in Monte Carlo on Sunday in low temperatures.

“I don’t dance but I want it to rain so I’m not just riding around in the dry in eighth place,” he said.

“You can’t overtake, so I’m hoping the weather will cooperate and maybe we can use a different strategy.

“We weren’t very good in the slow corners last race so I expected it to be difficult but it’s worse than we expected because it’s super bouncy.

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

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

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

“It would be nice to have some luck. I’ve had bad luck all year, so it’s going to stop at some point.”

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 – far quicker than the world champions were.

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

“We obviously wanted more, there’s no doubt about that, but like I said before the weekend we have our baseline now and think we can work from there.

“But we are under no illusions that Red Bull and Ferrari are finding plenty of pace and what they have shown this weekend has been impressive.”

The Monaco Grand Prix, F1’s crown jewel, is live on Sky Sports F1 at 14:00, with extensive build-up from 12:30.

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 aiming for 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 failed to start the race.

The 24-year-old has been terribly lucky on home soil, having never finished a race in the Principality, but Leclerc has renewed hope of an elusive triumph.

Charles Leclerc says he dreams of winning his home race in Monaco after securing pole position for Sunday's race.

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

Charles Leclerc says he dreams of winning his home race in Monaco after securing 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 approach this race like the other races and it worked.”

After warmer conditions during Saturday’s FP3 and qualifying, it could rain at Monaco on Sunday, although Leclerc isn’t overly concerned.

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

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