Misfortune is now the norm, says glum Hamilton

Sat May 28, 2016 12:29pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONACO (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton's run of misfortune showed no sign of turning a corner, even around the twistiest track of the year, on Saturday.

"It's just becoming the norm, now," the dejected triple world champion told reporters after a fuel pressure problem affected his Monaco Grand Prix qualifying and left the Briton third on the grid for the showcase race.

"It's to be expected," he added glumly, spooning strawberries and yogurt from a bowl with a distracted air in the team hospitality area.

The Briton, in desperate need of a victory after Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg ran away with the season's first four races, had hoped Monaco might give him the chance to reduce the 43-point deficit.

It still could, but Sunday will be a tougher challenge with Rosberg starting second on a track where overtaking is always a challenge. Red Bull's Australian Daniel Ricciardo is on pole position.

Asked whether he would have had the pace to take pole without the fuel problem, which forced him to stop at the end of the pitlane and be pushed back to the garage by mechanics as the final phase started, Hamilton said:

"Absolutely. It was going to be close for sure, but I definitely think so."

Hamilton has only won once in Monaco, in 2008 when he claimed his first championship. A team strategy error denied him victory last year while he missed out on a possible pole in 2014 when Rosberg made an error that forced him to slow.   Continued...

Formula One - Monaco Grand Prix - Monaco - 28/5/16. Red Bull Racing F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo (R) celebrates pole position with Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg (L) and Lewis Hamilton.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - RTX2ELLO