“Surprising to see them improve so much” – Three-time Monaco winner Lewis Hamilton has expressed surprise to Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz grabbing a 1-2 for Ferrari in the second practice session on Thursday.
Lewis Hamilton has won the Monaco Grand Prix thrice – first with McLaren in 2008 and then with Mercedes in 2016 and 2019. For him to win the iconic race for the fourth time this weekend, he needs to get past a familiar rival in Ferrari. This after Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz wrapped up a 1-2 for Ferrari in FP2 earlier today.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 20, 2021
Something that has alerted Hamilton is the ability of Ferrari to get temperatures in quickly in the soft compound tyres, which could prove to be pivotal in Saturday’s qualifying, at a race track where overtaking is at a premium.
“It’s a challenge, naturally – Ferraris look really strong – surprising to see them improve so much but that’s great. It means more competition.
“Ferrari particularly have in the past for whatever reason been very quick at getting temperatures in, same as Red Bull, so we’ve got some work to do.
The first two tyre compounds are quite close… in terms of, the hard tyre can go longer, it’s harder, but the soft tyre is quite a big step softer and it comes in a lot faster.
Hamilton racing in his adopted home
While Charles Leclerc is the home hero here in Monaco – with a grandstand to his name – Hamilton is the adopted son of the French principality. It now remains to be seen which of the two handles their ‘home’ street circuit better this weekend.
“Everyone loves to drive here. Great day, I mean the weather’s been great, feels really cool to be back on track. It’s rapid, this track, it’s absolutely mesmerising every time you get the opportunity to drive, so I generally enjoyed today.