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Lewis: “Great names become legends around this circuit”

Lewis: “Great names become legends around this circuit”

"It’s been a busy few weeks for me, both on track and away from it, but I’m pleased to be getting back to racing again next weekend. And what a place to get back to it! Monaco is just incredible to drive and any driver will tell you that’s the race they want to win. So many great names become legends around this circuit. It’s an honour to fight for your place amongst them and a real test of your skills behind the wheel. The last few races have been just incredible. I honestly never expected I’d win four consecutive Grands Prix in my career and I’d love to continue that run here. I’ve had some work to do in terms of getting the car exactly as I want it after the weekend in Spain: it was so close between our cars at the end and I need to keep pushing to find any extra edge I can. The car has been strong at every race so far and I’m sure it’ll be the same in Monaco, so we should be set for an entertaining weekend."

Monaco: In the Cockpit with Lewis Hamilton

Monaco is just incredible. As a kid you dream about racing through the tunnel and it’s such a fantastic feeling to actually experience it first-hand. I won here in F3, GP2 and finally in Formula One in 2008. It’s a real driver’s circuit, a second home race for me after Silverstone and I’m excited about the prospect of another good weekend here.

Driving round the Monte Carlo circuit is a seriously hair-raising experience: it’s like the most hardcore rollercoaster you can possibly imagine! Starting with Turn One, finding your braking point is quite tough and there are quite a few bumps on the way in which make it even more challenging. You’re hard on the brakes on entry then hard on the power on exit: heading up the hill into Turns Two and three. This is a really intense section of the track as you can’t see the corners coming, so you really have to know your lines and get it spot on.

You’re then into Turn Four, Casino, which is really tight and again you have to pinpoint your markers so accurately to get it right. You can very easily brush the barrier through here and we see it happen almost every year at some point in the weekend. From there you jink right before heading down through Mirabeau and into the tight, twisting section of Turns Five, Six, Seven and Eight: all very low-speed.

Next up it’s the tunnel, which is a seriously exciting and unique bit of track. It’s flat out into the darkness and you really can’t see where you’re going: you just have to hope you’ve positioned your car in the right place to get a good run back out into the bright sunlight on the other side. From there you’ve got the tight chicane of Turns 10 and 11, the tricky Tabac corner at 12, then the Swimming Pool at 13 and 14 which is taken almost flat out. The next chicane at 15 and 16 is much tighter before you get hard on the brakes again into Rascasse. Both this and the final corner, Anthony Noghes, have really low grip levels and it’s so easy to make a mistake on exit with all the power available from these cars.

An interesting feature of the circuit is that, because of the enclosed nature of the track with all the buildings surrounding you, there’s really no wind effect. It’s just you, the car and the tarmac!

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