F1 2012 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying: Hamilton favourite

22:21 25 May 2012

Lewis Hamilton racing in practice for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Lewis Hamilton racing in practice for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

HOCH ZWEI

LEWIS Hamilton is favourite for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix – the jewel in Formula 1’s crown – ahead of qualifying in Monte Carlo.

"It’s an incredibly tough circuit, very technical, so every little scrap of information helps you understand where to go with the set-up."

Lewis Hamilton after Monaco GP free practice

The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racer from Hertfordshire goes in qualifying around the famous street circuit on Saturday.

Hamilton, the 2008 F1 world champion now based in Monaco, has set the quickest time in qualifying three times this season, although he was stripped of pole position at the Spanish GP in Barcelona a fortnight ago.

Securing a front row grid position is particularly important in the Principality due to the tight and twisty nature of the Circuit de Monaco.

The Lotus cars of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen were 11/1 to qualify fastest, but have both come in to 17/2 with Hills after a number of three figure bets.

Hamilton is 15/8 to start on pole, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso 11/2 and Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel 13/2.

Herts-born Hamilton is the 3/1 favourite to win the race in Monaco, while Alonso has been well backed at 9/2 to come up trumps in Monte Carlo.

Hamilton was fourth quickest in first practice on Thursday and then 11th in a rain-hit afternoon session.

He’ll be looking to get some good running in during final practice on Saturday morning.

“It’s an incredibly tough circuit, very technical, so every little scrap of information helps you understand where to go with the set-up,” said Hamilton.

McLaren teammate Jenson Button, winner in Monaco in 2009, was fastest in Thursday’s second free practice session.

“I definitely feel like the car improved from P1 to P2,” said Button afterwards.

“We tried something different for this afternoon’s session and I was happier with how the car felt.

“There’s still room for improvement, but we know what direction we want to take.”

Speaking after practice, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “I think we’re yet to see what either Jenson or Lewis can achieve when they push the car to its fullest extent around here, but I know that both our drivers relish the challenge of this circuit and that they’ll hit the ground running again on Saturday.

“At the moment, the sharp end of the grid looks extremely close – and it’ll be all to play for in what’s likely to be an absolutely thrilling qualifying session. Bring it on!”

Related articles

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more
Get up close and personal to this global phenomenon!

Following a sell-out 2014 run, the global phenomenon that is Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is back in London, running at the Dominion Theatre in the heart of the West End until 5th September 2015.

Read more