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MONZA, ITALY - AUGUST 31: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes attends the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo Nazionale Monza on August 31, 2023 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Hamilton: Williams will be ‘almost impossible’ to get past at Monza

The seven-time world champion is predicting a tough race for Mercedes in Italy

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Lewis Hamilton thinks it will be ‘almost impossible’ to overtake the Williams of Alex Albon at Monza, with the British team having superior straight-line speed.

Lewis Hamilton on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Italy (Image Credit: Garbriel Moleti – Getty Images)

The Mercedes driver will start behind Albon, with Hamilton set to start in eighth place and the Thai driver set to start in sixth.

It was a tough start to the year for the Silver Arrows but they have recovered well, currently sitting second in the constructors championship.

The seven-time world champion had to fight hard all the way through, facing a challenge just to get into Q3 as he struggled with the back of his car.

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell faired better in qualifying, acheiving a fourth place start for the race tomorrow.

“George (Russell) did a great job [on Saturday], so I’ve just got to try to progress forward somehow tomorrow [Sunday],” said Hamilton, speaking to Sky Sports.

“The Williams will be almost impossible to overtake because they’re fastest on the straights, but when there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Hamilton will also be behind the McLaren of Oscar Piastri from the start, who will start seventh, the British driver starting between him and his teammate Lando Norris.

Williams and McLaren showed their pace

Both Albon and Piastri were some of the stand-out performers as their teams continue their surge up the field.

McLaren has seen a massive change in fortune since the start of the season following the upgrades that were brought in across the Austrian and British Grand Prix.

Williams has gone from one of the back runners over the last few seasons to seventh place this year, under the leadership of new team principal James Vowles.

“I think we are all very similar pace,” continued Hamilton. “What’s impressive is to see how quick the Williams is – to be leapfrogged by the Williams and the McLaren, it’s not easy.”

The pace of the Williams is also on the mind of Piastri in the McLaren, with the speed available to Albon scaring the Australian.

“Clearly we are lacking some pace to the front guys so we will see what we can do tomorrow [Sunday],” Piastri told Sky Sport F1.

“We will not be going past Williams, not on a straight at least. We will see what we can do. I think we know that this track with such long straights is still not ideal for us. We are starting in the points and will try and finish there too.”

Featured Image Credit: Bryn Lennon – Getty Images

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