Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton 'struggling' to drive Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton admits he has been struggling to drive his Mercedes car since joining the team this season.

Hamilton qualified second for Sunday's Monaco GP, beaten by team-mate Nico Rosberg for the third race in a row.

"I've been struggling all year. Considering it is a new car I've done pretty well, but I definitely seem to have been struggling as we've got into the season," he said.

He said he has been lacking confidence in the car during braking.

Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton plays down victory chances

"Winter testing wasn't too bad and when we changed something in China it felt good and I got pole, so the confidence came. But that is the only race I've had that confidence, I don't know why," said Hamilton, who joined Mercedes for 2013 after six years with McLaren.

"It is really just the uncertainty of what the brakes are going to do. I think I solved it later in qualifying so let's hope for a good race tomorrow."

Hamilton said this was the first time he had struggled in this way at Monaco, a circuit that he loves.

He said he would have liked to get pole position but "I have not deserved it this weekend. I have not been on the pace."

But he said he would still be trying to fight for victory with Rosberg.

Asked if it was every man for himself, he said: "That's how I see it. At the end of the day we want to finish one-two for the team. That is the goal.

"Of course I have to see what I can do to overtake. It's impossible to overtake here, especially when the car is equal pace. It's through pit stops that I might have a chance but I've got to make my tyres last."

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Asked about imposing team orders, team principal Ross Brawn said he would "let the race run" between the two drivers.

Team-mate Rosberg said: "This is my home and to be on pole here is fantastic. The whole weekend has gone really well. Perfect position tomorrow.

"I hope to have a good start and then our difficulties start - race pace is still our big challenge. I think we have improved things but we are coming from way back.

"Barcelona was 1.5secs slower or something. I don't think we'll be able to improve all that in two weeks, for sure not. But you can't overtake here so maybe a good result is still possible.

"It's not realistic to speak about winning at the moment because we were nowhere recently. So step by step we want to just improve."