Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes car felt 'horrendous' in qualifying as he struggles to P8
Lewis Hamilton (8th) and George Russell (6th) both praying for rain in Sunday's Monaco GP; Charles Leclerc targets 'dream' win from pole; Watch F1's showpiece race live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm, with extensive build-up from 12.30pm
By Matt Morlidge in Monaco
Last Updated: 29/05/22 12:21pm
Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes car felt "horrendous" during Monaco GP qualifying as he only managed eighth on the grid, and claims rain is the only thing that can prevent more misery in Sunday's race.
Hamilton, albeit hampered by red flags as he couldn't complete a final lap, finished over a second off pole on Saturday and was outpaced by George Russell again, with his team-mate grabbing sixth.
Hamilton and Russell were both once again suffering with bouncing and a lack of pace compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.
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Asked by Sky Sports F1 how the car felt, Hamilton replied: "Horrendous. It feels pretty bad here.
"Very bumpy for some reason. It's very hard for us to get below a second of the [Ferrari and Red Bull] guys, it takes a lot of risk."
Mercedes were hoping to build on their Spanish GP momentum this weekend but were beaten by the McLaren of Lando Norris in qualifying, and encountered more, yet different, bouncing on track.
"Yesterday was a bad day and today the car felt a little bit better," said Hamilton. "in qualifying we made some changes and seemed to be a little bit closer.
With the perfect lap, I think we could have been maybe six tenths behind, 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, though he did add that it was just another example of bad luck for him in F1 2022.
The seven-time world champion is also hoping for rain in the race, with a 60% chance of showers in Monte Carlo on Sunday with temperatures way down.
"I am not doing any dancing but I do want it to rain so I am not just driving around in the dry in eighth," he stated.
"You cannot overtake so I am hoping that the weather plays up and maybe we can do a different strategy.
"We were not very good in the low-speed corners at the last race so I anticipated it would be difficult, but it is worse than we anticipated because it is super-bouncy.
"It would be nice to have some luck for once. I have been having bad luck all year so it is bound to stop at some stage."
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 - much faster than the world champions.
Russell, like Hamilton, said "bring on the rain" and continued: "It is obviously a unique race here in Monaco.
"We obviously wanted more there is no doubt but as I said before the weekend we have our baseline now and we believe we can work from there.
"But we are under no illusions that Red Bull and Ferrari are finding a lot of pace and what they showed this weekend was impressive."
The Monaco Grand Prix, F1's jewel in the crown, is live at 2pm on Sky Sports F1, with extensive build-up from 12.30pm.
Leclerc: A 'dream' to win in Monaco
Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, is targeting 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, was unable to start the race.
The 24-year-old has endured terrible luck on home soil, having never finished a race around the Principality, but Leclerc has fresh hope of an elusive triumph.
"Of course, I dream of winning here," he told Sky Sports F1. "Let's see how it goes. I am approaching this race just like I did for the other races, and it has worked out."
After warmer conditions during FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, rain could arrive in Monaco on Sunday, although Leclerc is not overly concerned.
"Dry conditions are a bit more predictable, but whatever comes, we are competitive so we will be fine," he said.