The Mercedes driver set the fastest lap of the 2016 race with a 1:17.939 but that was still three seconds slower than Michael Schumacher’s in-race record.
The German driver got his Ferrari around the Monte Carlo circuit in 1:14.439 on the 23rd lap of the 2004 Monaco GP, although he failed to finish the race after crashing 22 laps later behind the safety car.
However, the fastest laps are usually set in qualifying and in 2006, Kimi Raikkonen managed a 1:13.532 which is a mark that has not been beaten in a competitive session since.
But it appears that 2017 will be the year for that record to tumble after Hamilton logged a 1:13.425 to top the charts during FP1, traditionally not a session where especially fast times are set.
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That mark is expected to be lowered during each session including qualifying while Schumacher’s in-race record could also go.
"The most important thing is that you have to learn to walk before you run," Hamilton said in the build up to the Monaco weekend.
"You have to build up to the pace so that, by the time you work up to that second run in Q3, you're at 100%."
Lewis Hamilton set a lap record in free practice 1 at the Monaco Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher set an in-race lap record in 2004 but that could go this year
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Monaco Grand Prix Free Practice 1 results
The reason records are likely to fall this weekend is that the off-season regulation changes were, unusually, designed to allow the cars more speed.
Since the introduction of hybrid engines to F1, fans have complained about the lack of speed and noise from the cars.
But new owners of F1 Liberty Media have attempted to address that by introducing bigger, higher downforce cars which corner faster and have to brake less.
It means lap records are likely to go at a number of tracks as the year goes on and Monaco is no exception.
Hamilton finished just 0.196 seconds ahead of his title rival Sebastian Vettel whose Ferrari sits six points ahead of him in the F1 World Drivers’ Championship.
His team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fourth, 0.366s back, while Fernando Alonso’s replacement Jenson Button proved he has not forgotten how to drive an F1 car by coming within two tenths of his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
The morning was not a success for two drivers though as Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson both managed just three laps with hybrid and transmission problems respectively.