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Lewis Hamilton

Rosberg fears Hamilton has lost his rhythm ahead of Monaco qualifying

Nico Rosberg has been a friend, teammate and rival of Lewis Hamilton, but is fearing that the seven-time World Champion has already lost his flow ahead of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton Monaco
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Nico Rosberg fears Lewis Hamilton has "completely lost the rhythm" ahead of qualifying day at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The seven-time World Champion ended Free Practice 3 down in 12th after a day spent struggling with bouncing at the Circuit de Monaco.

Hamilton has already ruled himself out of the fight at the front on race day, as he described Monaco as the bumpiest race track he has ever driven on.

But, despite Mercedes' difficulties, George Russell once again managed to place himself inside the top six, with a lap more than 0.7 seconds faster than Hamilton's best.

Rosberg says Mercedes looks difficult to drive

Rosberg sympathised with Hamilton as he watched Mercedes try to improve their bouncing during Friday practice, but the German was quick to point out that Russell appeared to cope better with the issue.

"It looked like they had one of the most difficult cars to drive out there, particularly on Lewis' side," said Rosberg, speaking to Sky Sports F1.

"You could just see the bouncing being rather extreme and also the snappiness, it was just all over the place and looked ultra-high risk.

"Nevertheless, you'd have to say that George just put his head down and somehow, even with such a difficult car, found the rhythm and really has been extracting the maximum out of it."

Rosberg believes Hamilton is "on the back foot"

Mercedes have vowed to work through the night to find a set-up cure to eradicate their bouncing problems ahead of what could be one of the most important Saturdays of the F1 season.

However, Rosberg fears that lost time on Friday may have left Hamilton without the rhythm he needs to head into qualifying with confidence.

"I think being seven tenths [of a second] away, close to being the best of the rest behind Red Bull and Ferrari, is where George is going to be, isn't he? That's where Mercedes are. And it's more on Lewis' side that there's a lot of head-scratching.

"He has completely lost the rhythm today and it's just so difficult to get back into it tomorrow. So Lewis is now, big time, on the back foot at the moment."

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