Lewis Hamilton had ‘heart in his mouth’ during Monaco GP qualifying

After a couple of close calls Hamilton eventually recovered to qualify sixth for the 2023 Monaco GP

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Lewis Hamilton said he felt his heart in his mouth during qualifying for Sunday’s 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who came into Qualifying on the backfoot after crashing in FP3, just avoided a Q1 exit in the final seconds but could still out-qualify teammate George Russell and will start sixth for Sunday’s race.

“I didn’t try to leave it’s just how it turned out,” said Hamilton to select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “Firstly that the team did a really great job of bringing these upgrades [to Monaco].

“You could feel them straight away. The middle sector was where we were losing out so far this whole weekend. So I had to make some changes to qualifying.

“I struggled to get temperature into the tyres in this session. So it was always that last lap we managed to pull something out. My heart was in my mouth, but we made it through, and I’m grateful.”

Praise for Aston Martin

With Hamilton out of contention and Sergio Perez crashing out in Q1, the fight for pole position was between Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso, with the reigning world champion denying the Spaniard his first F1 pole since 2012.

Charles Leclerc will start third pending a stewards investigation for blocking Lando Norris, whilst Esteban Ocon qualified a superb fourth for Alpine after briefly holding provisional pole. 

“I’ll take anything I can get,” said Hamilton. “Ocon came out of nowhere. I thought Fernando had pole and thought this is going to be amazing for him. 

“But that Red Bull is too quick. Aston is almost on par with Red Bull, that’s phenomenal work, so I am really happy for Aston, and I hope we can be there soon.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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