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Making Moves in the Monaco Rain

Making up places on the streets of the principality

While new locations have joined the calendar in recent years, none can rival the glitz, glamour, history and uniqueness of the Monaco Grand Prix.

With towering hills on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, it's a stunning backdrop for an F1 race. And while Sunday's race got off to a low-key start, the arrival of dark clouds delivered some added spice.

It was also an interesting weekend as our new upgrades made their debut. Far from an ideal place to test them out, given barriers line every inch of the circuit and Monaco's track characteristics are unlike any other, but it was still an important opportunity for us to gather some initial data.

"Everything is new, so it really is a lot of learning at the moment," said Toto. "The next race in Barcelona will be an important opportunity to collect lots of data from this new baseline and extract as much understanding as we can about what the car does."

For Lewis, he felt the car was a step forward, but there were also a couple of set-up issues across the weekend that put him on the back foot in qualifying and the race.

"Without those set-up challenges, I'd have gone quicker in the race, but given that fact, I'm quite happy with fourth."

Everyone did a great job out there as it was a real challenge.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis felt a podium could have been possibly if he'd started on the hard tyre, but he did well on his first stint on the mediums, keeping close to Ocon and Sainz through the pit stop phase.

Then the rain arrived. Initially it was focused around Mirabeau and the hairpin, which made it tricky to make a call on moving to inters. Parts of the track were wet, other parts dry.

"The team did a great job," Lewis added. "It was really tricky out there. I struggled to get temperature into the inter tyre. After that I was waiting for the tyre to come in and not make any mistakes. Everyone did a great job out there as it was a real challenge."

George started on the hard tyre and benefitted from the longer stint to go straight to the inter. This leap-frogged him into third place, ahead of Ocon and Lewis, but a mistake at Mirabeau dropped him back.

"I'm very disappointed to be honest," George explained. "I went off on my own, on the first lap on the inters. That cost me two places. I had to reverse and then made contact with Checo. We should have been P3 so it's frustrating but that was on me."

For George, the rainy conditions were some of the most challenging he's faced behind the wheel of an F1 car. "It was so, so slippery," he says. "All the white lines were like ice and so was the new track surface. One third of the track was extremely wet and other parts were quite dry."

Moving forwards in Monaco is no easy task, so despite the mistake at Mirabeau, to go from P8 to P5 was a solid result and helped the team close to within one point of Aston Martin in the battle for P2 in the Constructors' Championship.

We'll get the real potential of the car in Barcelona

Lewis Hamilton

Now our attentions turn to Barcelona and a track that's known for testing every part of the car. "It's going to be exciting to see how we can perform and learn from there," George admitted. "Looking forward to seeing what it brings."

Lewis added: "We'll get the real potential of the car in Barcelona and hopefully we'll be in a great position for the next one."

Barcelona will give us a much more representative look at how our upgrades are performing and is an excellent place to develop the new direction we're going in. Let's see how it goes!