Lewis Hamilton hails pace of W08 as records fall

by Gemma Bray

Lewis Hamilton was happy with the performance from the Mercedes W08 on the opening day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver finished Free Practice 1 on top of the timesheets with a time of 1:05.975, beating last year’s fastest lap time set by Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds.

It was an incident-free session for Hamilton and he continued His form into Free Practice 2 as he finished another practice session on top.

This was despite losing time in the garage to swap a spark plug, as the mechanics fixed the problem promptly.

The Briton believes there is already a good balance of the car and finishing the opening day of practice on top of the timesheets, Mercedes are in good spirits for this weekend’s Grand Prix.

“It’s been a really good Friday,” said Hamilton. “With no major headaches to complain about so far.

“We had to swap out a spark plug during FP2, but the guys did a great job to turn the car around and we still managed to complete our programme. Most importantly, the car feels fantastically fast here. There’s already a nice balance and it feels good out on track.”

Hamilton was impressed with the pace of the 2017 machinery around the Austrian track as he blitzed the 2016 lap times.

“This car is so quick in comparison to what we raced here last year. It’s tricky, but a proper thrill to hook up a lap. The team is in good spirits and we’re all up for another exciting fight with the Ferraris this weekend.”

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