Formula 1

Hamilton hopeful of Monaco win after strong practice

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Lewis Hamilton remains confident of securing victory at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend as Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg topped the team-sheets on the first day of practice for the prestigious race.

Hopes are high in the Mercedes camp that they can secure their first win of the 2013 season, a mood no doubt bolstered after Rosberg set the fastest time in both of Thursday's practice sessions at the Monte Carlo circuit. 

The German team have been successful so far this season during qualifying and Rosberg has claimed pole position in the last two races - however neither driver has been able to convert that into a race win because of heavy tyre degradation on the Mercedes car.

Hamilton finished Thursday's second session just behind his team having set the 5th quickest time in the morning run, and the 2008 Champion says he remains upbeat over his chances of claiming victory in the Monaco Grand Prix for the second time in his career.

"If we get on the front row, we have a better chance of staying in front than in other races," he said.

"It's going to be tough still because people last year pushed to a one-stop strategy, people might want to do the same thing this time.

"That means doing 40 laps on one set of tyres, which I think is going to be very tough in my car. But who knows, this weekend might be different."

Mercedes have struggled badly with tyre wear in the first six races of the season, and have fallen backwards despite regularly claiming pole position in qualifying.

The Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago provided the perfect example of that as Rosberg and Hamilton qualified in 1st and 2nd, only to finish 6th and 12th respectively.

Hamilton says his team have been working on improving their tyre wear problem, and the Briton paid tribute to the world done since Barcelona.

"Just an incredible amount of work has gone into it," Hamilton said.

"We still need to experiment and try different pressures and temperatures and there is definitely a thought other teams are doing different things, we just have to hope we find the answer sooner rather than later.

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