Mercedes introduced a revised front suspension wishbone to link up with the new front wing it ran in Monaco, which featured a more conventional upper element design compared to its detached, short-chord top plane it began the season with.

Wet weather had affected both sessions and limited the amount that Mercedes could learn from the enhancements in tandem, but it nonetheless has assisted with balancing the W15 between front and rear.

Hamilton felt confident in the wet-weather running across the two Friday sessions and, although noted that it was too early to predict where Mercedes would ultimately end up, his initial feeling was that it could start to close in on the top three teams of Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren.

“Honestly, it’s too early to say [where we are]. I feel like I’m in fighting spirits, I feel the car is reacting to my inputs and as I said I feel really confident out there,” Hamilton said.

“But we won’t know until we get out on Saturday, it’s often a different day for us and I’m hoping tomorrow’s a good day. In either conditions, I felt really strong today, so I’m really hopeful. I feel like we’re closer to the front this weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

After the 20-minute delay to the pitlane opening in FP1, Hamilton stated that he was keen to be out on track first and invited his team along to give him plenty of time on track.

He added that his eagerness was also wishing to develop his understanding of the resurfacing work around the Montreal track that had been carried out at the tail end of last year, which is generally regarded to be much smoother.

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“It felt great. I was just raring to go, just every second I was telling the guys ‘let’s get out, let’s get out,” I was rushing them, “Let’s go, let’s go”, just to maximise time on track whatever the conditions,” he said.

“This is a track where it’s building blocks, so it’s about just getting as much time on track and understanding both conditions and also the changes they made to the surface and to some of the run-off areas. It was a really good session and the car was feeling strong.”