Lewis Hamilton: “We can be happy with the start we’ve made”

Lewis Hamilton - Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

In another important weekend for his championship ambitions, Lewis Hamilton started in an almost perfect manner as he topped both free practice sessions at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace on Friday.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer sits nineteen points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg in the standings with just this weekend in Brazil and the season finale in Abu Dhabi to come, and Hamilton finished fastest in FP1 before repeating the feat in FP2.

Hamilton set the pace with a 1:11.895 in the morning from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, but warmer conditions in the afternoon saw him set a best time of 1:12.271, just 0.030 seconds faster than Rosberg.

“It’s been a good day,” said Hamilton.  “We got through all of our run programmes and the car is feeling really good. It’s pretty tough out here physically right now with the heat as high as it is. Not just in the car but for the guys in the garage too.

“Finding the right balance isn’t easy either in these conditions as the tyres are getting really hot. But our long run pace seems to be strong so we can be happy with the start we’ve made today.”