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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton upbeat after Mercedes handed Monaco ‘surprise’

Lewis Hamilton finished first and second in the two practice sessions on Friday ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton FP1 Monaco
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Mercedes must improve on its long-run pace ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, an upbeat Lewis Hamilton feels after an encouraging Friday. 

The three-time Monte Carlo winner was fastest in FP1 in the Principality and followed that up with second place behind Charles Leclerc in the second session, 0.188s down on the Ferrari. 

With qualifying key for a strong result in Monaco, Hamilton admitted his pleasant 'surprise' at how the W15 reacted on low-fuel but wants further improvements overnight heading into Saturday.

"It's been a good day, definitely the best day we've had on track, and the car was feeling really positive, I really enjoyed driving it and the track is amazing," Hamilton told F1TV.

"We still have some challenges with the balance, but it was looking strong. 

"What was a surprise was the grip level and how the car was reacting here, it was definitely a more enjoyable ride than we've had in the previous two years particularly.

"We can't lose the [low-fuel pace], so we just need to improve in the long run pace and with the graining."

Although he placed second in FP2, Hamilton was unsure if the team had taken big steps forward, with tyre graining apparent on the medium rubber throughout the field. 

With the race expected to be a one-stop if dry, the seven-time world champion is keen to work at the problem.

"The feeling in the second session, I don't know whether we improved or not," he said.

"Definitely in the long run, 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."

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