Formula 1 world championship leader Lewis Hamilton has targeted improvements in his qualifying performances in time for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton holds a seven-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings after winning three of the opening five rounds of the campaign, though he trails the Finn 3-2 in the qualifying head-to-heads.

With Bottas claiming three consecutive pole positions, Hamilton is looking to halt his teammate’s momentum on Saturdays, starting at this weekend’s race in Monaco.

“The car is obviously great but I have struggled with it since Australia,” Hamilton said.

“My qualifying in Australia was just OK. I was just a tenth ahead. When I get things right, I should be different to that but there are areas to focus on and I will dialling in to try to understand.

“I will go around to different departments and find out as much data as possible in time for the next race but Fridays and Saturdays have not been great days for me, so the goal is to improve on that, but the race has been really strong.”

Hamilton had struggled to match Bottas all weekend in Barcelona and ended up 0.6s adrift in qualifying, before recovering on race day to seal victory having made a better start.

The Briton revealed he had to make alterations to his driving style in the race to compensate for balance and set-up issues that had plagued him all weekend.

Hamilton said he wants to get on top of his “weak area” of being unable to extract maximum performance from Pirelli’s 2019 tyres over one lap.

“Race-pace has generally been quite good for me, I’ve been really happy and comfortable generally in the races,” Hamilton explained.

“When we went out to do the laps to grid [in Spain] I wasn’t very happy with the balance still, so I had to make some changes. I had to alter my driving style a little bit. But it worked well in the race scenario.

“I’m going to look into detail why it doesn’t work well on a single lap. That may take some time. Normally with tyres I’m pretty good but I think that’s the weak area. It’s not that I can’t do it, I just need to discover it and that’s what I’ll put some effort towards.”

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