Lewis Hamilton praises ‘best day we’ve had’ after ‘strong’ Monaco practice showing

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton in Monaco GP practice.

Lewis Hamilton was in the top two in both free practice sessions in Monaco on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton has said that, while there are still “challenges” to navigate, he is “absolutely” feeling positive about his chances heading into qualifying in Monaco.

The Mercedes driver topped FP1 in Monte Carlo before finishing FP2 second behind Charles Leclerc, with the W15 looking competitive on early evidence around the sport’s most famous street circuit.

Lewis Hamilton ‘really enjoying’ W15 feeling after positive Monaco practice

Hamilton took pole position at another high-downforce circuit in Hungary last season, and had been hopeful about Mercedes’ chances heading into the weekend, though the qualifying simulations he carried out put him above the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, as well as both McLarens on Friday.

While he admitted there is still work to be done, the seven-time World Champion spoke positively after a strong showing for himself and Mercedes around Monaco.

“It’s been a good day, definitely been the best day we’ve had on track,” Hamilton told F1 TV after FP2.

“I think the car was feeling really positive, really enjoying driving it. The track is amazing, and the grip was feeling quite good.

“I think we still have some challenges with the balance, but it was looking strong.”

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Hamilton, like others, was getting up close and personal with the barriers around Monte Carlo early on, and when asked about that, he added: “It’s kind of… I do that in Monaco, so I wasn’t surprised.

“But what was the surprise was the grip level and how the car was reacting here.

“Definitely a more enjoyable ride than we’ve had here previous, the last two years, particularly.

“I think the second session, I don’t know whether we improved or not.

“Definitely the long runs, we still have a lot of work to do overnight to try and make sure that we can make it to the end of the race.”

Given the importance of qualifying, however, and how hard it is to overtake around Monaco, Hamilton is keen to hold onto that one-lap pace Mercedes appear to have on early evidence.

When asked if he was feeling positive heading into that all-important Saturday, he replied: “Yeah, absolutely, so [we] just can’t lose that. We just need to improve in the long run pace and the [tyre] graining.”

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