Hamilton open about grip struggles after difficult Friday

Silverstone, UK

British Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says his side of the garage has work to overnight, after he struggled with grip throughout Friday practice.

Hamilton finished P4 in the morning FP1 session, before improving to P2 in the afternoon. He was bested only by his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was less than a tenth clear on the same Soft tyre compound in FP2.

Despite his proximity to the front, Hamilton admitted to having struggled throughout the day, as evidenced by several scruffy mistakes during FP2.

It’s been quite windy, quite gusty out there, so it hasn’t been the easiest of days, but we were up there nonetheless, and it looks like we’ll be in the fight.” he said after the session.

“It’s always difficult to say after the first day though and the Ferraris are usually a little bit slower on a Friday and then pick up the pace on Saturday.”

“I was struggling with the rear end and went off a few times, but Valtteri seemed much more comfortable in the car, so we are going to dig deep tonight trying to figure out what the issue is and how we can solve it for tomorrow.”

Several drivers had quite a few off track moments over the course of the day, with the cooler temperatures and new track surface appearing to put grip at a premium. Hamilton says this new surface is having an effect on the tyres: “The new track surface is better on the straights, especially between Turn 4 and Turn 6 where it was pretty bad before. It’s still bumpy on the exit of Turn 7 and towards Copse, but after that it’s nice and smooth through Maggotts and Becketts and down the Hanger straight. The asphalt is very smooth which makes it tricky to get the tyres to work, they’re in and out of the window, and the gusty winds didn’t make it easy.”

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Thomas Maher

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