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The Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most spectacular events in world sport. It doesn't just feature the most famous sight in Formula One, but probably the most familiar four or five. From the bit where they go 120mph underneath a hotel to the bit where they go round that hairpin with that palm tree to the bit where they can cut the chicane at the bottom of the hill and the bit where they drive along the harbour, every turn and every straight in the Monaco Grand Prix is a sporting icon. Which is why, if Lewis Hamilton wants to become a sporting icon himself, he must perform in this testing arena, where Senna won six times and Schumacher five.

Monaco is arguably the biggest test in Formula One. The racetrack ordinarily the winding regular roads of Monte Carlo is narrow; the pressure with large stretches devoid of tyre-walls is immense; the history is inspiring; the weather ranging from baking hot sun to tropical downpour is grueling. Overtaking is nigh-on impossible, but so too is avoiding serious mistakes. Hamilton crashed out of practice on Thursday and walked away unhurt. Others have not been so lucky.

Some have hailed Hamilton as the greatest F1 rookie of all time with an excellent chance to win the World Championship at the first time of asking. Others have doubted whether he has the experience, patience, technique and instinct to convert his good start into a serious title challenge. Monaco, on Sunday, will go a long way to telling us.

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