Hamilton 'definitely felt the improvements' from W14 upgrades


Lewis Hamilton gave Mercedes' new-spec W14 a thumbs-up after the car's opening day of running in Monaco on Friday.

Hamilton had clocked in third in FP1, but concluded his day P6 in the running order in the late afternoon session, 0.498s adrift from pacesetter Max Verstappen.

But beyond the net result, the seven-time world champion was happy with the multiple changes implemented by Mercedes on its W14 which included a new front suspension and heavily revised sidepods among other modifications.

"I think we got a lot of data," said Hamilton after Friday's second practice session. "It’s not the place to ultimately test an upgrade but the car was generally feeling good.

"I think ultimately it’s a bit of a shame we weren’t as close as I hoped at the end of the session, but definitely felt the improvements. We’ve just got to keep chipping away at it, see if we can squeeze any more juice out of the car.


"In P1 I thought maybe we’re looking pretty good but we’re always looking pretty good in P1 for some reason. In this session we were close to half a second off.

"I think that maybe we could have been three tenths, but I don’t think we have half a second in the bag. We’ll see, we’ll work on it and see if we can squeeze some more out tonight."

Hamilton said that he had a clear idea of where Mercedes' engineers needed to search to extract more performance from their contender.

"It’s very clear where the lack of performance is for me," he added. "We’ll talk about that in the debrief.

"We’ll put our heads together and try to figure out how we can do that within what we have. But hopefully this gives us a platform to work on moving forwards."

George Russell ended his day outside of the top-ten, in twelfth position, after his crews made numerous changes on his car over the course of the afternoon.

Early on, the Briton had complained about his struggles to switch on his tyres around Monaco's layout.

"We’ll work overnight to see what more we can do just to try and get more out of the tyre," he explained.

"We know that the base performance of the car is good and we normally overachieve maybe on a Sunday and underachieve on a Saturday. So we need to try and flip those over this weekend.

"It’s not a matter of moments and it’s sometimes a bit baked-in to the car. So I’m not expecting tomorrow to be an easy day but we’ll work hard and see what we can do."

Russell stood by the comments he made on Thursday when he said that there would likely be little to read into Mercedes' performance this weekend, regardless of the outcome.

"As we said yesterday, Monaco’s such a unique circuit it’s not really the place to be evaluating any updates or changes," he said.

"And we knew that coming into the weekend, so we’re sort of almost forgetting about the upgrades, we’ll worry about that next weekend and just focus on trying to improve around here on a unique circuit.

"Qualifying is obviously the most important part of the weekend and qualifying is a part of the weekend where we generally struggle.

"We always do better on a Sunday when you look at the last 18 months. So we need to try to figure some stuff out overnight.

"There’s definitely some positive signs to take from the session. Definitely improved from FP1. It’s never easy around this place."

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