Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m expecting a very tough battle this weekend”

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The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team once again were in dominant form as the United States Grand Prix weekend got underway at the Circuit of the Americas, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg more than a second faster than the rest of the opposition in Friday’s second session.

Hamilton was able to finish on top in both Friday practice sessions at Austin, and insisted the car felt good to drive, and is not worried that the possible hydraulic leak that curtailed his second session will have any negative effect on his weekend.

“The car felt good today and we were able to improve consistently over the two sessions,” insisted Hamilton. “I only got a couple of laps of my long run which was unfortunate as we lost a bit of track time but Nico got the data for the team so we should be ok.

“I’m not sure exactly what the problem was and we had to stop as a precaution but I’m sure they will identify and fix it overnight. These small glitches happen and I’m confident that we won’t have problems moving forward. It’s better that it happened today rather than later in the weekend, of course.

“It looks very close with Nico out there and I’m expecting a very tough battle this weekend. I love being here and it’s great to see so many fans around the circuit already, so I’m excited for the rest of the weekend and feeling ready to put on a show for them.”

Team-mate Rosberg was second in both sessions, and was disappointed to see Hamilton suffering an issue as it proves the Mercedes is still threatened by mechanical gremlins. He believes it will be a close fight between himself and Hamilton throughout the weekend at Austin.

“Our Silver Arrow feels very quick around this circuit which is very impressive to see,” said Rosberg. “Between Lewis and myself, the times were very tight as usual. But it was worrying to see that Lewis had a problem with his car as it shows that our car is still not 100% robust at the moment. We need to work on that but overall I’m really looking forward to the weekend.

“It looks like it will be a close battle between my team-mate and I, so let’s hope we can put on a great show for the fans here in Texas.”

Talking to reporter’s trackside after the second session on Friday, Rosberg felt he had more time to find and is hoping to get ahead of Hamilton for the rest of the weekend as he looks to close the seventeen point gap in the championship.

“It’s tight as usual – three thousandths – but I have them in my pocket,” said Rosberg. “I know where they are, so no worries. I’m going to pull them out tomorrow. It’s been a good day for us; the car is really quick here, again.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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