hamilton leclerc ferrari monaco

Hamilton: It looks like Ferrari are contenders in Monaco

hamilton leclerc ferrari monaco

Lewis Hamilton believes that Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could prove to be contenders at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

The Scuderia look to have brought a competitive package to the principality, with Leclerc topping FP2 and Sainz second fastest in both of the Thursday sessions.

Meanwhile, Mercedes and Red Bull have been up and down, with Max Verstappen and Hamilton finishing third in FP1 and FP2 respectively.

Ferrari have definitely taken a step forward compared to last season, with team principal Mattia Binotto claiming prior to their arrival in Monaco that the team’s form in the final sector at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during the Spanish Grand Prix boded well for this weekend.

Discussing the first day of running in Monaco, Hamilton said that the steps forward taken by Ferrari surprised him.

“The Ferraris are really strong,” he said. “It’s 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 temperature in. Same as Red Bull generally also are like that too.”

Asked whether the Ferrari duo could prove to be genuine contenders for the race win on Sunday, Hamilton added: “I’m seeing what you’re seeing. I’m generally just focussed on my job, but it looks like it.”

On the prospect of Mercedes and Hamilton being able to compete come qualifying, the seven-time world champion said he was “very happy” with the balance of his W12.

“The car is good, we’ve made some decent steps with the balance so generally I’m very happy,” he said.

“I’ve got some changes I’ll make this evening as we analyse today and it’s going to be close tomorrow, which is exciting.”

See the full Monaco Grand Prix schedule here.