Delighted seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday that he had enjoyed himself at the Monaco Grand Prix more than any for 15 years thanks to Mercedes’ upgrades package.
Hamilton qualified sixth for Sunday’s classic 78-lap race at the Mediterranean street circuit despite crashing in final practice.
He admitted he had hoped to do better - and blamed himself for ignoring advice from his team.
“The last time I enjoyed this track this much was 2007, 2008 and my Formula 3 days here, I’ve generally really enjoyed it,” said Hamilton.
“P1 to P2 was good, P2 to P3 I think was good, but then we made a change into P3 which didn’t feel as good, but it was faster in the middle sector, but slower in the first and last.
“It was just that the car felt like a real handful, I really struggled to switch on the tyres and that was the first time in this session.
“We know why and it was a decision I had taken against everyone’s judgement -- I fought for something and it made it even harder probably.
“It’s been an amazing weekend. I’ve loved every second on track, more than probably ever.
“But I got a really good lap at the end and I think that was as fast as our car was going to go. In a perfect world, maybe a tenth left in it. I’m grateful I kept it out the wall and got it round.”
He said it was too early to evaluate the value of the upgrades package on the car.
“I’m so grateful to everyone back at the factory -- they’ve worked so hard to build these components for the car,” he added.
“And I’m glad I didn’t break the new components. I broke the wing, which I’m sorry for, but those changes have helped the feeling.
“It definitely feels like it’s going in the right direction.”
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