Lewis Hamilton concedes that he couldn’t have matched Daniel Ricciardo‘s pace in qualifying for the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, “even with a perfect lap”.
Hamilton’s time, a 1:11.232, was over four-tenths-of-a-second slower than pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo, with Sebastian Vettel splitting the pair in second.
Despite starting from the second row on the tight Monte Carlo street circuit, Hamilton remains optimistic regarding his chances come the race.
“It was a really good session,” said Hamilton, “I gave it everything that I could. But even with a perfect lap we couldn’t catch Daniel today; Red Bull just had a little bit more performance, particularly in the last sector.
“I was up in the first sector, but I just couldn’t hold onto it. I’m glad that we’re up there, I won my first Grand Prix here from third but obviously that was in unique circumstances.
“The team did a fantastic job getting the car to where it is. It will be interesting to see how the different tyre choices work for each of us tomorrow and there’s going to be lots going on throughout the race.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport had been expected to struggle compared to their main rivals in Monaco, their car deemed less suited to the famous circuit, but Hamilton is still aiming for a third consecutive victory.
“I really can’t tell you what Monaco is going to bring tomorrow, but I’m going to give it everything and just keep my head down. My goal is to switch places with Daniel, so that’s what I’m going to go for.”