Lewis Hamilton: “The track changed and shifted quite a lot”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Despite a change in track conditions during the second half of the day, Lewis Hamilton managed to secure the best time of both practice sessions and once again demonstrate the Silver Arrows’ dominance ahead of the field.

This weekend is the first time that the innovations resulting from the development race have come into force, and prior to the Friday running, there were questions asking if Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team could be challenged. But despite time being made up by the teams behind then, the pair of Mercs locked out the 1-2 in the first two practice sessions.

Hamilton commented that Free Practice 2 proved a lot more challenging than Free Practice 1. But the blustery Barcelona afternoon was not enough to dethrone the three-times World Champion.

First practice was very, very good but in second practice the track changed and shifted quite a lot, so it was slippery and quite a lot slower for everyone – especially with the gusts of wind,” he said. “It was massively challenging but still fun nonetheless.”

The Brit also expressed his delight in the upgrades. There must be some concern prior to the weekend that they will not live up to the factory hype, but Mercedes have obviously got things spot on.

The team has done an amazing job with the upgrades and the car is working just as we expected,” he continued.

Today’s success is a stark contrast to his experience in Russia, where Hamilton failed to “gel” with the track. He is hoping that he can carry this performance and secure the top spot in the race, where it matters most, and leap-frog his nearest rival, Sebastian Vettel.

It’s been a much better start to the weekend for me than in Sochi, so I’m very happy,” he added.

We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep working, we want to be number one.”