Lewis Hamilton admits he is surprised about Ferrari’s competitive lap times in Friday practice but thinks he left plenty of time on the table from his own qualifying simulation.
Hamilton beat Kimi Raikkonen’s headline time by four tenths in FP2 but Ferrari continued to show the progress it has made over the winter. Despite topping the session Hamilton admits the pace of Raikkonen had caught his attention.
“The Ferraris look great, they really do,” Hamilton said. “Surprising to see how good their times are and we’ll see how close they are this weekend.”
Hamilton’s day was blighted by a power unit inlet problem in FP1 which carried over into the afternoon session. When he finally returned to the track he jumped to the top of the timesheets immediately but complained about “downgraded” gear shifts and thinks there was more time to be found.
“I know my lap wasn’t spectacular and I think I have some improvements I can make to the balance and the settings, they’re all from the last race so I’m sure we’ll tweak it around.”
The reigning world champion thinks his preparation for Sunday’s race has been hampered by a day of limited running.
“They’ve been pretty heavily compromised. Whenever you lose a session that definitely doesn’t help, as well as half if not more of the second session. The team did an amazing job to re-build the car and I’m very grateful. Just to have got some laps was crucial. Sunday will be hard.
“From my side of things I got a pretty decent lap but I haven’t dialled it in, we haven’t changed any diff settings, we haven’t changed the settings at all so there’s definitely work to do. Fortunately I got a bit of a longer run at the end. But in terms of my set-up I haven’t made any changes so I’m just working with what I have, it’s quite a bit off where we need it.”