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Hamilton needs pole after win-less streak

sports Updated: May 28, 2016 08:48 IST

MONACO: With pole position so important at the Monaco Grand Prix, the pressure will be firmly on Lewis Hamilton in Saturday’s qualifying as the Formula One champion bids to avoid a ninth race without a win.

Hamilton calls winning Monaco from pole “a procession” because the run to turn 1 is not long enough to give a driver much chance of overtaking. He would have won from the front last year, only to be undone by a late team order to come to the pits following a crash and finishing third. “Everyone that’s expecting a good race should know this is a track that you really can’t overtake on, so qualifying’s going to be the race,” Hamilton said. “Everyone here knows if you have pole position you are going to win, and with a one-stop race it’s a procession.”

Hamilton’s championship run last year was equally stress-free, clinching it by 59 points ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

He was a picture of confidence when he won the United States GP in late October to clinch his second straight F1 title — and third overall — with three races to spare. He even dismissively tossed a cap for Rosberg to wear on the podium.

Although Hamilton has been on the podium six times in the past eight races, Rosberg has won seven of them and is this season’s runaway leader.