Formula 1 - Hamilton: I could hold off field from pole

Lewis Hamilton says he will put everything into getting pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix to give Mercedes a chance of fending off its faster rivals for victory.

German Grand Prix - Hamilton tops trouble-free practice in Germany

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Lewis Hamilton

The Briton has no qualms about wanting to 'create a train' in the Monte Carlo race, as he admits Mercedes could well repeat its recent Formula 1 form of being fastest in qualifying but struggling to keep its tyres intact in race conditions.

"If you can get on the front row here you have a much better chance of staying in front than perhaps we have done in the last races," said Hamilton.

"It is going to be tough still because people last year pushed to a one-stop strategy, and people might want to do the same thing this time which means doing 40 laps which will be very tough on our car."

In Spain, Mercedes tried its utmost to make progress with its long-run tyre wear, but ultimately struggled even more than before on the Sunday, with Hamilton tumbling from second on the grid to 12th at the finish.

That experience has convinced Hamilton than his Monaco strategy should be to focus entirely on qualifying.

"In the last race we tried to sort the car more for the race and it didn't help at all," he said.

"For me it goes to show that there isn't a race set-up versus a single lap set-up, so I am going to work hard this weekend to get that qualifying lap set-up because position is everything here.

"If we can get on the front row that will put us in good stead for the race.

"In 2007 I was second and I could not get past Fernando [Alonso], last year no one could get past [Mark] Webber - it was just a train. You can create a train here."

Hamilton suspects that Mercedes' tyre strife will not be so dramatic in Monaco in any case.

"You don't have the high-speed corners which put a huge amount of effort into the tyres," he said.

"So we can definitely go longer on the tyres."

He admitted that the Spanish Grand Prix experience had taken him aback.

"Coming into the season I was prepared for bad results and I think the season had gone so well and we were on a bit of a high," said Hamilton.

"To see us go back that far was a huge surprise, and definitely put you on back foot a little bit.

"But lots of work is going into understanding why we went that way and to ensure it doesn't happen again.

"I am re-energised, re-focused for another challenge."

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