Lewis Hamilton is on the back foot having been outpaced by his teammate all weekend in Mugello © Daimler Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton finished in fourth and second in FP1 and FP2 respectively whilst his teammate Valtteri Bottas topped both sessions. 

Hamilton joined all the drivers in praising the latest addition to the F1 calendar, Mugello.

“I have to say, this track is pretty intense – so fast and challenging, it’s amazing to experience. I love it!” said the reigning world champion.

“There’s no time to play around here and it’s one of the most physically demanding that I’ve driven for a while. I’ve been trying to push it to the limit today, but I think there are a few sections where I can improve.” said Hamilton on Friday afternoon.

Hamilton has won five of the season’s eight races and has taken pole at six of them. So far he has been off the pace of his teammate who traditionally comes out of the blocks at every racetrack very fast.

“I’ve got the last sector pretty sorted, but there’s definitely more to come in the first and second sectors as Valtteri and Max were very quick through there. So, we’ve got some changes that need to be made and studying to do tonight.

“Hopefully we’ll improve it for tomorrow. The tyres have felt quite strong and have been behaving well, but it’s going to be difficult to look after them through those fast sections, particularly through 6, 7, 8 and 9.”

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In FP3 Hamilton placed third once again outpaced by Bottas but with a closer gap once again.

Max Verstappen split the two of them begging the question of a three way fight for pole position considering teams are no longer allowed to turn their engines up for qualifying.

Despite his track record Hamilton looks to be on the back foot entering qualifying in relation to his closest competition.

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