Could Monaco be the Grand Prix that gets Lewis Hamilton back in the Formula 1 driving seat?
“Monaco is my favourite circuit,’ he enthused. “The sensation you get from racing up the hill at 175mph, trying to make as straight a line as possible between the barriers while just shaving them with the walls of the tyres is unbelievable – the best sensation you could ever have in a Formula One car.”
His level of enthusiasm and anticipation for the race could be a sign that the McLaren team are about to shift up a gear and start putting pressure on this season’s championship leader Jenson Button.
One of Hamilton’s four race wins last year en route to the world title came around the streets of the principality as the team continued their enviable record.
That was McLaren’s second in succession after Fernando Alonso’s triumph in 2007, their sixth in 11 years with engine partners Mercedes, and their 15th overall.
Hamilton said: “There’s an expectation Monaco will be another good circuit for our car because the combination of low-speed corners and absence of any really fast stuff should suit it.
“I really hope so because it would be fantastic to have a competitive car and be fighting at the front again.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh also feels a hat-trick of consecutive victories is not beyond the realms of possibility.
He said: “Everybody at McLaren is rightfully proud of the team’s reputation around the streets of Monte Carlo.
“We have won the grand prix for the past two seasons and McLaren has triumphed here an unprecedented 15 times – more than any other Formula One team.
“As a result, we go into the race with a greater degree of optimism than we had going into Barcelona.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team