Lewis Hamilton 'deserves' Monaco triumph says McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh

 

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton would be a deserving winner of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

The Woking-based marque have let Hamilton down this year, making a number of errors that have resulted in him unable to capitalise on his form in qualifying.

After five races, which have yielded five different winners, the 27-year-old Hamilton has remarkably not been one of them.

Whitmarsh, however, is hopeful of adding Hamilton's name to the list of victors in an unpredictable season.

Asked whether Hamilton was a good bet to make Formula One history - as there has never been different winners in the opening six grands prix - Whitmarsh replied: "I think he is, and he thinks that.

"He is in that frame of mind, and he deserves it. No doubt about it.

"So we have to work hard to make sure he has a good car, that we don't make any mistakes and he is in a position to fulfil his potential at a circuit where he would like to win again.

"We go into Monaco, somewhere where we've been very strong, we've won more grands prix there than anyone else, and we go there with the belief we can win.

"But anyone who makes predictions at the moment in this sport would be nuts. It is virtually impossible.

"Five races in we've had five different winners, five different constructors.

"After Monaco it could be six races, six different winners, but I hope not six different constructors. I hope we can take that one, but we will see."

McLaren are the most successful team in Monaco history, taking the chequered flag on 15 occasions, albeit with their last in 2008 courtesy of Hamilton in a thriller in the wet.

To triumph again on Sunday depends primarily on understanding the Pirelli tyres that are contributing to a rollercoaster campaign for all concerned.

The supersoft tyres - the fastest, but quickest degrading - are due to be introduced for the first time this season over the weekend, and that will result in more questions than answers.

"We're eight points off the lead in the drivers' championship, 11 points off in the constructors', yet we could come away from Monaco leading both. It's that sort of championship," added Whitmarsh.

"With these tyres people get frustrated with them, they're difficult, challenging, as we've suffered and been frustrated with them, but they are contributing to an extraordinary season.

"In trying to understand them there's no magic. You have to work hard, look at the data, study it, try to effect and control, and deliver what you want to make sure you get the best out of them.

"We've some views and ideas, but as every race goes by perhaps we are left with a few more questions than we had at the beginning of the weekend.

"We're learning something, but I don't think there is anyone here who convinces me they understand these tyres, and knows how to confidently and comfortably exploit them on a regular basis.

"It's become an incredible feature of this championship, and inadvertently or otherwise, is creating the extraordinary season we are seeing."

PA

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