Lewis Hamilton says he’s full of hope for Mercedes’ form going forward after feeling improvements from the W14 in Monaco.
Hamilton came home in fourth place in Monte Carlo, having started the race from fifth on the grid, finishing just over two seconds behind third-place finisher Esteban Ocon.
The Mercedes driver benefitted from a strategy call from Ferrari to bring Carlos Sainz in to ditch his hard tyres on Lap 33 – the earlier of the hard tyre starters to make their stop.
It handed track position to Mercedes, with Hamilton moving back ahead of George Russell when the young British driver made an error at Mirabeau.
With Mercedes coming home in fourth and fifth place, Hamilton was beaming as he spoke to media afterward as the decision to introduce the W14 upgrades, including a new sidepod design, seemed to have been vindicated despite the unique demands of the Monaco circuit.
“I’m really happy. We moved forwards and, coming into the weekend, I didn’t know where we would stand,” Hamilton told Sky F1.
“So to come out fourth and fifth, it was really great points for the team. It’s a huge thank you to everyone back at the factory for pushing and bringing those upgrades.
“There’s so much work to bring those here and we kept in one piece and we brought it home. We beat the Ferraris, we really got some good points today as a team.”
Asked whether he could feel a difference in the handling of the W14 with the upgrades fitted, and whether he’s anticipating a stronger weekend next week in Barcelona – a more ‘normal’ F1 track – Hamilton said the Circuit de Catalunya will allow for further fettling of the new components.
“Next week, Barcelona is the best test bench circuit for us. It was really difficult here to really know,” he said, before explaining he could feel a clear difference compared to the old-spec even at Monte Carlo.
“The car feels very stiff, there’s a lot of bumps – it’s tricky.
“I definitely noticed one particular part with the car which is better but I don’t know how that’ll be next week. I’m sure the whole thing will be a much, much better package next week.”