By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent
Thursday, May 24, 2012
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was only 11th fastest in second practice for the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix.
"It’s an incredibly tough circuit, very technical, so every little scrap of information helps you understand where to go with the set-up."
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racer from Hertfordshire clocked a time of 1m 17.375s in a rain-hit afternoon practice session in Monte Carlo today (Thursday).
He had earlier been fourth quickest in P1 around the Circuit de Monaco.
“We didn’t get to learn quite as much as we’d perhaps wanted to today,” said the 2008 F1 world champion, who now lives in the Principality.
“The weather was clear in the morning, but was quite difficult to dial-in the car because of the changing weather conditions we got this afternoon, compounded by the traffic as usual here.
“It’s an incredibly tough circuit, very technical, so every little scrap of information helps you understand where to go with the set-up.
“The less running you get, the tougher it becomes to understand the behaviour of the tyres.”
Hamilton added: “Nonetheless, it’s still mega-fun out there; it feels incredible driving this track.”
McLaren teammate Jenson Button clocked the fastest time in P2 today with a 1m 15.746s around the famous street circuit.
* Race distance: 78 laps (161.887 miles/260.520km)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/12:00 GMT
* Circuit length: 2.075 miles/3.340km
* 2011 winner: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
* 2011 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m13.556s (163.467km/h)
* Lap record: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m14.439s (161.528km/h)
He said: “The most important job today was to try and get a decent high-fuel long-run on the Supersoft tyre – which I don’t think anyone managed.
“We’ve got to see how the tyre works because its performance will play a considerable role in the race.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “Hearing the roar of Formula 1 engines resonating around the harbour front vividly reminds you that no other circuit in the world can match the taut, visceral thrill of Monte Carlo.
“Unfortunately, the changeable weather conditions – a dry morning followed by an increasingly damp and greasy afternoon – have caused us to be a little less well prepared for the remainder of the weekend than we’d ideally like.
“But it’s the same for everyone. It’s just another of the unique challenges posed by this most formidable of street circuits.”
Qualifying for the 2012 Monaco GP starts at 1pm on Saturday.