Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was not as comfortable as he would like during Friday practice for the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton had a quiet Friday practice, failing to top the timesheet in either of the two sessions.
He was second fastest in Free Practice One, but found himself nearly half a second shy of Max Verstappen’s best effort and he was fifth fastest in Free Practice Two, three tenths down on the benchmark time set by the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.
As is notoriously the case at Silverstone, it was quite breezy on Friday, and Hamilton said that this made conditions tricky and seemed to upset the balance of his Mercedes W11.
“It was quite a difficult day to be honest,” said Hamilton when reflecting on Friday’s two practice sessions.
“The balance didn’t feel quite right, and the wind made things really tricky out there today.
“So, we’re going to work on it tonight and try to figure out why I haven’t been feeling as comfortable as I would like.
“It’s been a hard day of driving, but it’s not a disaster and what’s so great about this team is we continue to dive deep into the details – hopefully we’ll make some good changes overnight.
“It’s going to be cooler tomorrow and the Red Bull and Racing Points look strong, so hopefully it’ll be close out there.”
Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin also added that it would appear the team does not have the same advantage as it did in Hungary and that the hot conditions appeared to play a role in the loss of performance.
“You never know what others are up to on a Friday in terms of fuel loads and power, but it seems that we don’t have the same pace advantage that we had in Budapest. Red Bull in particular look close on a long run,” commented Shovlin.
“There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the car, and it’s the same basic aero package, so we’ll probably end up concluding that we’ve not adapted to the very hot conditions here as well as some others.
“Valtteri seemed happier with his car than Lewis but both feel that the tyres are running hot and that’s making the car a bit of a handful at times on low and high fuel.
“It’s quite a balancing act in terms of how you respond because we’re expecting cooler weather tomorrow and need to be careful not to overreact.
“This car is competitive when we land it in the right window, and we’ve got a bit of time this evening and another session in the morning to work out how to do that.”