Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2024

Monaco practice “the best day we’ve had on track” this year – Hamilton

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton was encouraged by Mercedes’ pace after finishing the opening practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix in the top two positions.

The Mercedes driver was quickest in the opening session but was beaten to the fastest time by Charles Leclerc later in the day. Nonetheless he believes the team has shown real potential.

“It’s been a good day,” he told the official F1 channel “It’s definitely been, well, the best day we’ve had on-track.

“The car was feeling really positive, I’m really enjoying driving and the track is amazing. The grip has been quite good. I think we still have some challenges with the balance, but it was looking strong.”

Hamilton said his car is better to drive in Monaco than its predecessors have been. “What was the surprise is the grip level and how the car was reacting here,” he said. “It’s definitely a more enjoyable ride than we’ve had here previously, the last two years particularly.

“In the second session, I don’t know whether we improved or not. Definitely in 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.”

However he said the team can’t sacrifice its single-lap pace to improve its race performance as qualifying is so important in Monaco. “We can’t lose that,” he said. “We just need to improve the long-run pace and the graining.”

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Hamilton’s team mate George Russell echoed his view that the team is in stronger shape this weekend. “We know how quickly everything changes but definitely today’s been one of our best Fridays, no doubt,” he said. “That car’s feeling the best I’ve ever felt around around Monaco, so lots of positives.”

Russell encountered the team’s most notable problem as he reported a worsening vibration in his steering during second practice.

“As soon as I touched the brakes the whole thing was shaking to bits, so I don’t know what was going on,” he said. “I tried my best holding it as hard as I could, like a gorilla, trying to hold on to it, the thing kept shaking.

“So, on a track like this where you need confidence to attack, it really set us back and we just decided it was best to call it a day during the long run and try and analyse what was going on. But generally the car’s been performing really well today.

“In FP1, we were P3, I think, and then Lewis P2 this afternoon. It’s clearly working well but Charles [Leclerc] is well out in front.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Monaco practice “the best day we’ve had on track” this year – Hamilton”

  1. Every single Friday… If you can’t break records, be a broken record.

    1. Duh??? A bit like this comment then.

  2. Just like last friday. Why does Lewis keep insisting on it? he should know better…

  3. He should be banned for that cut sleeve suit jacket with huge shoulder pads he was wearing on Thursday in Monaco. Absurd. I never seen a self-proclaimed fashionista with less design sense.

  4. This wasn’t a sprint weekend, they clearly had more time to dial the settings in.

    Ask the same questions, get the same answers. Hamilton has been in this game so long that anything he says, will have been heard before.

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