Lewis Hamilton feels his most recent Monaco win in 2019 was his most special in the Principality as it allowed him to pay special tribute to the legendary Niki Lauda.
Lauda was instrumental in the success of Mercedes, working with Toto Wolff to turn the F1 team into champions, but passed away just before the start of the Monaco Grand Prix two years ago.
Three-time Monaco winner Hamilton said: “It was really tough with the loss of Niki. That was a really distressed weekend and probably the pressure on all of us, wanting to excel for Niki, to put that win to his memory was really special.”
Hamilton took his first Monaco victory at a rain-hit race in 2008 after starting third on the grid in his McLaren. The seven-time champion then waited eight years until his next victory in a Mercedes, again in a chaotic wet race.
Explaining his love for the track, Hamilton added: “It’s always great fun to drive on a single lap and just getting out on track is always a big shock in just how fast everything is.
“[It’s] pretty unique as you go up and down through the city, so it’s an amazing rollercoaster ride.
“It’s not an actual good race racetrack, it’s all about qualifying here. Generally, where you qualify is often where you finish.
"But it’s still an incredible place. Considering we’ve missed it out for a year, I’m grateful to be back.“
Hamilton finished practice on Thursday third quickest, almost four-tenths of a second behind a shock Ferrari one-two spearheaded by home hero Charles Leclerc.