Formula One

 
            === Hamilton aiming for another win in the Monaco GP ===
 
 Monte  Carlo,  Monaco (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Monaco Grand Prix is not only
 the  most prestigious  event on the Formula One calendar, but its the toughest
 race of the season as well.
 
 Monte  Carlo has  been one of the most difficult circuits, where overtaking is
 virtually  impossible. Qualifying here is most important, with the pole sitter
 winning nine of the last 10 races, including the previous five (2009-13).
 
 Lewis  Hamilton  from Mercedes is  attempting to  win his fifth straight grand
 prix. Two weeks ago, Hamilton grabbed the lead in the world championship point
 standings after winning the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. He holds a three-
 point advantage over his teammate, Nico Rosberg.
 
 Two practice sessions for the Monaco GP were held on Thursday. In P1, Hamilton
 posted  the quickest lap around this 3.34-kilometer, 19-turn street circuit in
 1  minute, 18.271 seconds. Fernando Alonso from Ferrari topped the time charts
 in P2 with a lap in 1:18.482. Hamilton was second in that session.
 
 "The  car  is still a  work in  progress, but it  felt really good out there,"
 Hamilton  said after Thursday's practice sessions. "I'm feeling pretty set for
 Saturday.  There is  still some work to  do, but we have [Friday] to look into
 that and finish all our preparations for the weekend."
 
 Alonso  is the only active driver who has multiple victories in the Monaco GP.
 He  won it in 2006, driving for Renault at the time, and again in 2007 when he
 was with McLaren.
 
 "Here in Monaco, the most important thing in practice is to do as many laps as
 possible,  because  it is  a very  special track and  you need  to have a good
 feeling  from the  car," Alonso said. "Despite the rain reducing the amount of
 track  time in the  second session, we more or less managed to complete all of
 our  program. The complexity  of this track remains the same, so doing well in
 qualifying will be crucial."
 
 Hamilton  won the Monaco GP from the third starting position in 2008, the same
 year  he captured  his first  F1 world  championship when  he was  driving for
 McLaren.  This is  his second season with Mercedes. He finished fourth in last
 year's race here.
 
 "I  just love  racing here," Hamilton said.  "This track is one of the coolest
 ever.  It's such a  classic race, and I've been trying to win here again since
 2008. I'm hoping this is the year, as we have such a great car."
 
 One year ago, Rosberg made history in the Monaco GP when he took the checkered
 flag  30  years after his father,  Keke, won in the principality. The Rosbergs
 became  the first  father-son duo to win  this race. Keke is the 1982 F1 world
 champion.
 
 Nico Rosberg resides in Monaco.
 
 "For me personally, it was a very, very special experience [winning the Monaco
 GP],  because it's my home," he said. "It's where I've grown up. My whole life
 has  been centered around  Monaco. So to win here was great. And not only that
 but  also it's the  race to win. It's the most challenging race to win and the
 most prestigious race to win, so really that was awesome."
 
 Rosberg won the March 16 season-opener in Australia but has finished second to
 Hamilton  in  each of the  last four grand  prix (Malaysia, Bahrain, China and
 Spain). He was second in the first practice session for the Monaco GP and 20th
 in the second practice.
 
 The Monte Carlo circuit features a slower average speed than any other circuit
 on  the  current  F1  calendar.  Teams  bring  their  highest  downforce  aero
 configurations, and Pirelli supplies them with its soft and supersoft tires in
 order to maximize mechanical grip.
 
 This  circuit recently  had new  asphalt placed  on significant  parts of  the
 track.
 
 Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, May 25. Race: Monaco Grand Prix. Site:
 Circuit de Monaco. Track: 2.075-mile (3.34-kilometer), 19-turn street circuit.
 Start Time: 8 a.m. ET. Laps: 78. Miles: 161.887 (260.520 km). 2013 Winner:
 Nico Rosberg. Television: NBC.
 
 05/23 14:46:00 ET

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