Current world champion Lewis Hamilton says he was surprised by Ferrari’s speed on the streets of Monte Carlo after Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz took the first two places in the second free practice. Ferrari was the closest companion to Mercedes and Red Bull in the qualifiers in all four races this season, and on the eve of the Monaco GP they expected an even better edition as the slow turns match their SF21.
But after the two fastest times in the second practice, not only their rivals were surprised, but also themselves, and they think that they are not far from the fastest, although in the first four races they could not compete for the first three positions in qualifying.
“Overall, it’s great to get back on track,” commented Hamilton, who was fifth and third in the first two training sessions. “This track is fast, it is absolutely amazing every time we ride on it. So I enjoyed today even though it's a big challenge.
" “I think Ferraris are strong after all, it’s surprising to see that they’ve improved so much, but that’s great. That means more competition. ”
For the first time since the 2019 GP, Ferrari had two drivers in the first two places in some training, and Hamilton is not sure if Ferrari is really competing for the first places in Monaco.
"I see what you see," he said. “I am generally focused on my job. It looks like they are, we'll see. " Hamilton also commented on the behavior of his Mercedes F1 W12 and said he was pleased with the initial balance.
"I think the car is good, we have taken good steps in terms of balance and I am generally very happy. We will probably make some changes after analyzing the data, but it will be close. ” Bottas says he struggled with gripping the front end which is crucial at entering slow turns.
“I miss pretty much the grip at the front end on this track,” Bottas said. "We've had similar problems on some tracks in the middle of a bend, but mostly it's slow turns, and if you don't feel the front end, whether to turn or not, you can easily lose a lot of time."
Indeed, for now as the situation unfolds, Ferrari could be a big surprise this season. Both Ferrari drivers are great and it will be interesting to follow this season