Lewis Hamilton says Monaco Grand Prix job 'not even half done'

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Monaco
Lewis Hamilton earns Monaco GP pole position
Monaco Grand Prix
Venue: Circuit de Monaco-Monte Carlo Dates: 21-24 May
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Lewis Hamilton says he is expecting a tough fight to take his first Monaco Grand Prix win in seven years.

The world champion starts from pole around the famous street circuit for the first time in his career, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

"The job is not even half done. There is so much to do in the race," he said.

"There is a long way to go. It's going to be mentally and physically challenging. I'm just so happy nothing was able to get in my way today."

Monaco is one of Hamilton's favourite tracks, and he has always been fast on it, but he has struggled so far to put a weekend together. Even when he won in 2008, he did so after hitting a wall and breaking a wheel.

Monaco GP: Watch Lewis Hamilton's pole lap

"I'm just sitting here thinking about all the previous years and things that kind of got in the way or that I wasn't good enough or whatever it may be," he said. "I'm looking forward to the race."

Hamilton was beaten by Rosberg in the last race in Spain two weeks ago and heads into Sunday's grand prix, which begins at 13:00 BST, 20 points clear of the German in the championship. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who starts third, is a further 11 behind.

Rosberg has won the Monaco Grand Prix, Formula 1's most prestigious event, for the last two years and Hamilton came into this weekend determined to stop his run.

Overtaking is notoriously difficult in Monaco, because the track is so narrow and twisty, but Hamilton said he was wary of the opportunities Rosberg would have to pass him during the 78-lap race.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg has won the past two Monaco Grand Prix

"I have always been quick in the race here but been further back," Hamilton said.

"Basically the start and one pit stop you have a chance to get by and they are both very good opportunities."

Rosberg said: "I'm going to try and keep the pressure up, of course. That's all I can do. Well, that's what I need to do. And I'll do it."

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said both drivers would be free to race with no team orders.

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