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Lewis Hamilton suggested the problems with his Mercedes W13 were being exacerbated in Monaco on "the bumpiest track I've ever driven".
Seven-time Formula One champion Hamilton has endured a difficult season, complaining right from the outset about his "bouncing" 2022 car.
There had been some signs of progress in recent weeks, however, with Hamilton finishing fifth in Barcelona despite a first-lap puncture.
But things have taken another turn for the worse for the Silver Arrows in Monaco, where Hamilton finished in P10 in Friday's first practice session and P12 in the second.
The circuit itself has contributed, the Briton says, as he said: "Firstly, it's the bumpiest the track [has] ever been. It's probably the bumpiest track I've ever driven.
"So, one, that makes it difficult, and two, just generally our car bounces a lot.
"It's different bouncing to what we've experienced in the past; it's in the low speed also, but it's not aero[-related]. I think the bumps on the track just make it worse.
"I'm not really having to learn the track differently, just fighting the car. To put a lap together is... wow, holy c**p! I don't remember experiencing it like that before."
Team-mate George Russell was only a little better in P8 and P6, beaten in both sessions by McLaren's Lando Norris (P5 twice).
"I'm a little bit surprised to say we're ahead of Mercedes," Norris said. "I expected them to maybe be ahead of us at the minute.
"But the plan is to be ahead of them, and if we can be, I'll be very happy with that."
Yet McLaren colleague Daniel Ricciardo has work to do after hitting the barrier in FP2.
"We pushed a little too far probably in a couple areas with the set-up," Ricciardo said. "We had a good morning, and obviously you try a few things for FP2 to try to maximise a bit more performance, but let's say we overstepped it – you don't know until you try it.
"It was my first lap, so I couldn't really get much of a read on it; it happened straight away.
"I tried my best to save it, but I couldn't. We missed all of the session, but I'm okay. We'll be ready to go tomorrow."