The seven-time world champion said he “really enjoyed driving” the upgraded Mercedes W14, which features a revised sidepod design after the team finally abandoned its controversial “zeropod” philosophy after more than a year.
Hamilton was third fastest in the opening practice session in Monaco before finishing the day in sixth place, just under half a second behind cruise control and reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
Despite Monaco not being the ideal track to try out major updates, Hamilton was encouraged after getting his first taste of Mercedes’ long-awaited upgrades.
“I had an amazing day overall,” said Hamilton after FP2. “I really enjoyed the ride today.
“I want to say a very, very big thank you to everyone at the factory because building, designing and developing a car is not an easy thing and everyone has put in so much time, so many hours of hard work to bring us here today. .
“I’m glad we’ve been able to keep it on track for them, and I think we have a lot of data. This is not the place to finally test the update. But the car felt good overall.
“It’s a shame that at the end of the session we weren’t as close as I expected, but I definitely felt an improvement and I’m grateful for that.
“We just have to chip away and squeeze more juice out of the car.”
Asked if he had noticed any particular area of improvement on the car, a shy Hamilton replied: “There is, I won’t say where.
“But there is and it is very clear where the lack of performance is for me. We will talk about it in the summary, put our heads together and try to figure out how we can do it with what we have.
“But hopefully it gives us a platform to improve as we move forward.”
However, Hamilton downplayed Mercedes’ chances of fighting for pole position in Saturday’s qualifying.
“In P1 I thought ‘wow, we look pretty good.’ But for some reason we always look pretty good in P1,” he explained.
“We missed nearly half a second in this session. Maybe it could have been three-tenths, but I don’t think we have half a second to spare. So we will see.
“We’ll work on that and see if we can do it overnight.”