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Hamilton sees one opportunity to challenge Verstappen

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reckons there's a small window of opportunity for him to challenge Max Verstappen for victory at Monza.

Lewis Hamilton says he can only see one opportunity to be able to challenge Max Verstappen for victory at Monza on Sunday. The reigning World Champion starts the Italian Grand Prix from fourth on the grid, with Verstappen putting his Red Bull on pole position after finishing second in the Sprint Qualifying race but benefitting from an engine change grid penalty for Valtteri Bottas. With Hamilton going for his 100th victory in Formula 1, he was asked about whether there's a "curse" preventing him from getting it after missing out at Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort. "I don't believe in curses," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com . "[On Sunday] it's highly unlikely, but not impossible, that we can get the win. We will be working as hard as [we] can to try it. "I think it's damage limitation at the moment. It generally should be a relatively easy race for Max, unless I can get past these two McLarens early on and then challenge him." Having been cooped up behind Lando Norris for the entirety of the Sprint Qualifying race after making a poor start, Hamilton explained that he simply couldn't find a way to clear the McLaren. "I was being as aggressive as I could be," he commented, looking back at the Sprint. "McLaren is the quickest on the straights and I just couldn't get close enough to capitalise. They were just as fast on the straight, if not faster." As for why he made a poor start, Hamilton said it was a case of a tiny error with the clutch, as previously alluded to by team boss Toto Wolff. "So the start, it just broke away on traction," he said. "[It was] subtle, like two millimetres too deep with the clutch pedal and... wheel spin."

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