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McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waits during a pit stop during the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Montmelo circuit, near Barcelona May 9, 2010. (ALBERT GEA/REUTERS)
McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waits during a pit stop during the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Montmelo circuit, near Barcelona May 9, 2010. (ALBERT GEA/REUTERS)

Hamilton expects tough race in Monaco Add to ...

Lewis Hamilton fears Formula One's slowcoach new boys could wreak havoc at his favourite Monaco Grand Prix this weekend if they behave like they did on the track in Spain on Sunday.

"It's just very difficult when there is such a big difference (in performance)," the 2008 world champion said after a blown tire sent him crashing out of the Spanish Grand Prix on the penultimate lap while in second place.

"When you approach a back marker maybe twice in a race it's not such a big problem. But you catch them so quick, it's just unreal.

"When you see them you know they should move out of the way and you are trying to think where they should move...and then they move into the wrong position," added the McLaren driver.

"They'll go on the inside and be in the corner as you come up to them, so it gets quite tricky.

"So far, fortunately, there have been no incidents and it's been okay, but Monaco will be very tough," he said.

Hamilton, a winner in Monaco two years ago, overtook Virgin Racing's Brazilian rookie Lucas Di Grassi four or five times at the Circuit de Catalunya. Australian Mark Webber was seven seconds a lap faster than HRT's Brazilian Bruno Senna in Saturday's qualifying.

The Briton also had a tricky moment when he came out of the pits and managed to get ahead of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel just as the German was coming up fast behind Di Grassi.

"The back markers were really not doing a spectacular job," said Hamilton of that incident. "I don't know what the hell the back marker was doing there.

"It wasn't very safe. I had to go left, Vettel was going right, and it could have been a lot worse than it was."

With six more cars in action than last year, due to the three all-new teams, Monaco's tight corners and twisty street circuit will be more congested than ever.

"It will be a disaster," said Hamilton, who has a great record at the Mediterranean principality -- although not last year when he put the car into the wall in qualifying.

This time he faces a strong challenge from the Red Bulls as well as his own team mate, world champion Jenson Button who won there last season for Brawn GP.

"We've a strong car, and there's no reason why we shouldn't be challenging the Red Bull there, even though they generally have more downforce than us," he said.

Despite the latest crash leaving him 21 points behind his championship leading fellow-Briton, Hamilton was in a positive frame of mind.

"I feel I did a very good job considering we didn't have the fastest car," he said of the first race of the European season.

"To be as consistent as I was - I didn't make any mistakes - I'm really very happy with my performance. Even though you haven't seen me overtaking and stuff, I feel it was one of my best performances just because I feel I improved.

"I didn't have any problems. I was really well controlled."

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