Lewis Hamilton finished third fastest in the opening practice at the Sochi Autodrom on Friday, before dropping to fourth in the second, and felt it was a difficult day for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
The team found themselves outpaced by Scuderia Ferrari on Friday, with Kimi Raikkonen topping the opening session and Sebastian Vettel the second, while Hamilton also found himself behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas in both of ninety minute sessions.
Hamilton is hoping the rest of the weekend is better for the team, and feels that should they get the tyres working in the correct operating window, they should have the pace to challenge at the front of the field.
“Bit of a difficult day for us,” said Hamilton. “We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs, but in terms of the balance of the car, the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace.
“But there’s still everything to play for. The tyres feel very peaky, so it’s easy to drop out of the window of performance. But when they’re working they seem to be good.”