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Hamilton enthralled by Monaco madness



(Reuters) - Insane, ridiculous, terrifying, incredible - a lap of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit is all that and more for Lewis Hamilton and he cannot get enough of it.

The Formula One championship leader is an old hand at mastering the most glamorous and historic street circuit in motorsport but he still finds it as awesome, and stomach-churning, as when he first arrived as a rookie in 2007.

Asked ahead of Sunday's race which part of the layout most made his hair stand on end, the Mercedes driver - a winner in the Mediterranean principality on his way to the 2008 title with McLaren - smiled.

"There's not a single part that doesn't," replied the Briton, who will be chasing his fifth successive win of the season. "It's the whole track.

"I wish you could feel what we feel when we go round," he added. "It's like when you go on the scariest roller coaster ride, and when they drop off the cliff and you go down and that first bit...

"That fear factor, the initial part that lasts for just a split second - here it's the whole lap. It's scary but it's cool. It's all these different emotions in one. It's just the most incredible roller coaster ride."

Three rookies will be racing a Formula One car around Monaco for the first time, with Toro Rosso's Russian Daniil Kvyat standing out as the only one never to have competed there previously in any of the junior series.

Hamilton grinned at the thought: "It's going to be like being in the room with Freddy Krueger," he said, referring to the fictional serial killer of horror movie fame.

Hamilton's boyhood hero, the late triple champion Ayrton Senna, was the master of Monaco with five wins. One qualifying lap in 1988 was so sensationally quick it seemed almost superhuman.

SO FAST

The Briton has only admiration for such an achievement, knowing only too well how hard the metal-fenced layout can bite the unwary - and how fast it feels even if the average speed is the slowest of any race.

"It's a circuit that you really have to walk very slowly before you can run. You're not running before you get to Sunday probably," he said.

"It's so fast. You go up that hill (to Casino Square) at almost 200 miles an hour, you get up there and you can't even see the corner at the top as it drops down.

"You're just looking at the sky and all of a sudden the corner arrives and you can't see around it. Oh man, I'm just getting excited thinking about it."

One mistake, the slightest clip of the crash barriers, can end in carnage.

Brake a fraction too late, in the new V6 turbo hybrid cars that are far more prone to skipping out of line, and the wall awaits.

"That's why it's the best track because there's no room for error," said Hamilton.

"It's ridiculous, it's insane how fast we go through there," he added of the swimming pool complex after cars have blasted through the tunnel and out into the sunlight along the harbor side.

"The coolest thing is that they keep the race on, they allow us to race here. It's the most real race there is."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)

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Buckeye Bob May 24 2014 at 12:27 PM

Even though i'm a Indy fan, This race is so much more of the real thing ! Racing ! I really loved to watch this race when Aryton Senna was in it, it was ball's to the wall, get out of my way i'm coming thew, he knew it was the race to win.

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Lee Demartin Buckeye Bob May 24 2014 at 7:48 PM

"THE REAL THING" ? It is impossible to pass on this "race track" The drivers in this race dont really speak english... Dont waste your time watch the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 tomorrow.... MUCH BETTER RACING

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5 replies
Home May 24 2014 at 1:15 PM

The race is great but the parties before and after are why I went there!

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Rick Elkin May 24 2014 at 1:19 PM

Monaco is one of only a handful of tracks that is very little different than when they started racing there back in the 1920's!!!! It is probably the most difficult circuit on the calendar for F1 drivers...Watch the race tomorrow morning at 8 AM on your local NBC station and you will get just a small taste of just how difficult it is to win at Monaco...More amazing since Graham Hill was able to win the race 6 times in his career and Ayrton Senna won it five times!!!

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2 replies
ga7smi Rick Elkin May 25 2014 at 3:50 AM

the Monaco race is in Monte Carlo and is a street course

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Buckeye Bob Rick Elkin May 25 2014 at 5:13 AM

Just to correct you & not to be mean, Ayrton Senna won Monaco 6 times & broke Graham Hill's record of 5, in 1993 .

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tazridesaharley May 24 2014 at 6:32 PM

It would be interesting to see NASCAR race at Monaco.

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4 replies
Rickey Hot Rod! May 24 2014 at 11:01 AM

This is an "Awesome" track in Monaco. I remember walking through the tunnel, and realizing I had seen it about a dozen times over the years, and I was now walking inside the tunnel. Amazing!!

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3 replies
cvanac8550 May 24 2014 at 10:17 PM

Monaco is fantastic racing ...the only thing that has a leg up on it in my opinion is Motogp
But that only my feeling not an argument. For those of you who really enjoy racing check out any youtube video for the Isle of Mann or Irish roadracing. Anyway good luck and a safe day to all the drivers and riders competing this weekend......

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cvanac8550 May 24 2014 at 10:29 PM

For all you F1 Fans check out this movie..best thing since Grand Prix...It's about the 1976 F1 season and the fierce competition between Niki Lauda and James Hunt...really worth the watch ...directed by Ron Howard ..........enjoy..

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5_j7E-uaGSMeG12MnpXcTRKejg/preview

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1 reply
ga7smi cvanac8550 May 25 2014 at 3:53 AM

it is a much better movie than I expected - highly recomend

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Lee Demartin May 24 2014 at 7:43 PM

WHO GIVES A DAMN ! WE have our own races here tomorrow, Anyone know what they are besides me ?
The Indy 500 , the greatest Race of all time
The Coca cola 600 In Charrlotte BC. AMERICAN Races in our country.
Driven (for the most part) By American Drivers

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4 replies
ekdailey921 May 24 2014 at 5:27 PM

Come on Huffington -- WHO GIVES A DAMM about European racing, why aren't you covering the Indy 500, or the World 600?????????

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3 replies
hduque8843 May 24 2014 at 2:47 PM

No questions, the MB cars are the fastest of them all! I don't Hamilton will on first place if he was drivinga Ferrari, Hamilton is such a great driver; give a so so driver of a fast car, you'll know the rest.

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1 reply
ga7smi hduque8843 May 25 2014 at 3:57 AM

?

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