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Thursday images from the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

F1: Hometown showdown in Monaco for Lewis and Valtteri

May 252017

The Monaco Grand Prix is the "home" race for both the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Both the Silver Arrows stars live in the luxurious Principality that forms the backdrop for the most iconic Grand Prix weekend on the Formula One calendar. Yet despite living there, the novelty of racing around this historic track - just millimetres from million dollar yachts - never wears off.

Lewis said: "It's pretty incredible coming here every year and thinking there's only a few of us who get to drive around here. It's kind of neat that I live here too, so I get to see the place quite often.

"I run around the circuit, sometimes I drive my car around the circuit, I ride my motorbike around the circuit. Every time I'm like 'I can't believe we're going to be driving at 200mph around here'. There are only 20 of us who get to do it in a year, the way we do it in Formula One. It's cool. I'm excited, as I am every year. We could have this race every weekend and it would be pretty awesome."



It will be Valtteri's first run around the Monte Carlo streets in a the Silver Arrow - and he cannot wait to get behind the wheel and race around the places he goes running when he's training. Valtteri said:


"I can't wait to get on the streets. It's the first time for me that I have a car I can really fight for a proper result and even go for the win this year.


"It's really exciting and I'm really looking forward to the weekend. I feel that every year we race here I've been able to perform better and better, compared to my team mate, so I feel good on this track in general, so let's see.


"It is exciting, but a very demanding weekend. I really like the challenge, doing quick laps around here gives you a special feeling and it's one of the most demanding weekends, mentally, as a driver you really need to be on it all the time, you can't make a single mistake or you end up in the wall. It's very special and that makes you want even more to succeed here."

He added: "I'm confident and what gives me confidence is that there's still 75 per cent of the season left and that's a lot of racing and a lot of possibilities to gain lots of points. And I know I will only going to get better. I feel I will still improve; it's a long season ahead.  


"The points' gap to Sebastian and Lewis is bigger than I was hoping for at this point of the year, but it's only the beginning, things can change quickly. If I start scoring more points than them, things can change, so I'm confident it's still going to be a good fight."