The Mercedes driver was ninth quickest in a heavily-delayed and extended second practice but said he enjoyed his first outing around the high-speed street circuit. 

“It’s incredibly fast and so much fun. I’m so glad we got to run again,” the seven-time world champion said. 

“Not great in P1, with what happened, but they did a great job to fix it.” 

Hamilton added: “You are sliding through the high-speed corners but also the low-speed corners. 

“You don’t have a huge amount of load, because you need the straight-line speed. And the temperatures are having a big effect on it.

"It’s massively challenging. Even though they’ve got the long straights, there aren’t a lot of places to overtake because the grip is so low.

“And the tow is not huge, a bit like Monza when you’re behind people because you’ve got the small wing, there’s not a lot of drag. 

“It will be interesting. Qualifying position will be really important, and degradation will be key.” 

Mercedes teammate George Russell, who ended up 12th in FP2, echoed Hamilton’s verdict. 

“It was good to finally get going after quite a long day,” Russell said. 

“Good to get out there, a very fast circuit. Highest top speed of the year, probably.

“Obviously racing at night is pretty spectacular.” 

Russell likened the first few exploratory laps to “driving around on ice” due to the low grip levels. 

“The track is evolving with every lap,” he explained. “The first laps you did, you are driving around on ice. 

“No grip, you can visibility see the dirt and dust. Every lap, you are learning. You are going faster, the track is faster, your brake point is changing. 

“It’s tricky when you are going 230mph into both braking zones, picking the braking point with very little downforce on the car. It was good fun.”