With a rapidly evolving track and new developments on the W14, it was a day of learning for the team and building of confidence for the drivers on this notoriously tricky track.
Maximising mileage and understanding of the new aerodynamic package and suspension was also a key focus.
Lewis Hamilton led a chunk of the FP1 session with the best effort of his single-lap run, before switching to high-fuel running.
He ended the session in P3 with George Russell, struggling with rear grip, finishing P15.
The Mercedes team made changes to improve the balance of both cars ahead of FP2. Both drivers reported an improvement, with Lewis and George finishing the session P6 and P12 respectively.
‘I’ve had an amazing day and I really enjoyed driving out there. I want to send a big thank you to everyone at the factories. To build, design and develop a car is not an easy thing. Everyone’s put in so many hours of hard work to get us here. We got a lot of data today; it’s not a place to ultimately test an upgrade but the car was generally feeling good.
‘It’s a shame we weren’t as close as I’d hoped at the end of the last session, but I felt some improvements. We’ve got to keep chipping away at it and see if we can squeeze some more juice out of the car.’
‘Monaco is such a unique track so it’s not an ideal place to be evaluating updates, but we knew that coming into the weekend. We’re just trying to focus on improving around this circuit and qualifying is obviously the most important part of the weekend. We generally do better on Sundays and struggle more on Saturday, so we need to try and flip that here.
‘There were positive signs to take from today’s sessions but it’s never easy around this place. We made a lot of changes throughout the day, and the car felt improved in FP2. We’ll work hard tonight to see what we can do tomorrow.’
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
‘We’ve had a busy day but ran decent programmes with both cars and managed to cram in plenty of set-up compares along the way. It’s difficult to evaluate the update at this track from a lap-time point of view, but from what we can see it’s all working as expected.
‘George seemed to have a better afternoon session which is good news as he was lacking confidence in FP1. Lewis has been pretty happy with the car all day but there are a few things we may have done for the second session that cost a bit of pace. We’ll look at that overnight. We’ve also got a good programme running in the simulator to try and find a bit more performance; hopefully we can find a step as even a tenth-of-a-second can be a big difference in qualifying here.’