Hamilton enjoying the 'dream' in Monaco after leading practice

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Lewis Hamilton was living the "dream" as he led both practice sessions at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday.

The world champion pipped Max Verstappen in the morning before he and teammate Valtteri Bottas established Mercedes' dominance in the afternoon.

Understandably, Hamilton was pretty pleased by the performance he was able to produce.

"It's the dream for every driver to come to Monaco and have a car that you can exploit and utilise your abilities with," he commented.

"I'm really proud of the team and naturally, our goal is to try and do something really positive this weekend.

"We've made some small tweaks over the two sessions and during the sessions as well, but I've been quite happy with the set-up."

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Hamilton then spoke of how the challenge of Monte Carlo's streets alters each year, as the speeds continue to increase. 

"Every year we come back here, it gets faster and you really notice it when you're going past the barriers," he said.

"Coming into Turn 12 [Tabac], you carry so much speed into that corner and then there's just the wall in front of you; going up the hill to Casino it's the same thing.

"It's incredibly intense out there and you have to be so focused."

Mercedes' domination was largely anticipated heading into the Monaco weekend, based on their performance in slow corners in recent races.

And for Bottas, the confidence he had to push was clearly evident as he played chicken with the barriers on several occasions.

"It's been a good day for us on track," the Finn stated. "In previous years, the car felt sometimes difficult to drive, but today it was very driveable, responsive and enjoyable.

"You need to find the limits on this track and I felt comfortable to push towards the limit, which is a good sign. Now we need to fine tune the set-up and make sure we keep going in the right direction.

"I think we've started the weekend on the right foot, but we're in Monaco and anything can happen."