The W14 car: Lewis Hamilton's surprising reaction

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In spite of qualifying with a "real handful" underneath him, Lewis Hamilton claimed he has "loved every second" of being on the track in Monaco this weekend, "more than probably ever."

At the beginning of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton struggled, managing to make it through both early sessions with his final flying runs on fresh tyres having been close to the drop zone both times, but managed to find the pace to finish sixth on Sunday's grid in his Mercedes. In a thrilling qualifying session on Saturday in Monte Carlo, Max Verstappen narrowly edged out Fernando Alonso for the pole position. Mercedes had just unveiled their long-awaited significant upgrade package, which was originally scheduled for Imola but was cancelled last weekend. Hamilton was beaming after qualifying and felt like he had enjoyed every second after recovering from a setback following a crash late on in FP3, despite his car being difficult to handle during the session.

Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 following the session, "Well, first of all, it's been a wonderful weekend. I've loved every second on the track, probably more than ever. " I believe that the last time I truly enjoyed it was in 2007, 2008, and during my days competing in Formula 3 here. "We made some pretty good adjustments, in my opinion. Every time you make a change, there is a 50/50 chance that it will be successful.

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" P1 to P2 went well. I believe that the transition from P2 to P3 was fantastic, but the next change to P3 didn't feel as good, even though it was faster in the middle sector but slower in the first and last. For the first time throughout this practice, I had a lot of difficulty turning on the tyres since the car felt so difficult to control. " We understand the reason, and I overruled everyone's advice in making the choice. I battled for something, and I think that definitely made it harder. " But I managed a really strong lap at the end, and I believe that was the maximum speed our car was capable of. Although there might be a tenth left in it in a perfect world, I'm glad I managed to get it around and keep it away from the wall.

Over the course of the weekend, Hamilton has consistently been in a good mood thanks to the way the team is proceeding with their upgrades, adding that he feels "refreshed" after some rest. In addition, he feels that Mercedes is on the right track now despite experiencing trouble at the start of the year because the upgrades to the car are having some sort of impact. Hamilton remarked, "I think I just came here this weekend in a really nice frame of mind. " Having the weekend off last weekend was really great. I feel incredibly rejuvenated this week, and I've enjoyed the challenge of driving in general.

"I'm happy to report that I didn't damage the new components, given the enhancements we've made. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who worked so hard to create these car components back at the factory. “ I apologize for breaking the wing, but those adjustments have helped. It certainly appears to be headed in the right direction as a result. As for the new side pods and everything, we won't see the car come alive until somewhere like Barcelona, where we will see it in action.”

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