Hamilton upbeat despite engine problem (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton’s second free practice session at Silverstone came to an early end today due to an engine problem.

The Briton still finished the session as the fastest driver, but was robbed of some much needed practice time towards the end of the session. However, he is still pleased with how the day went.

“The car felt pretty good here today but unfortunately I lost my most important run of the day this afternoon when I stopped out on track with an engine problem,” Hamilton explained. “We haven’t identified what the issue was yet but it shouldn’t impact the rest of my weekend.

“We will change my programme around tomorrow morning to try and recover the time that I lost and make sure that I can complete my race preparation with a long run. It’s not ideal but we’ll recover!”

However, technical boss Paddy Lowe explained how Hamilton can use data collected from teammate Nico Rosberg’s trouble-free run. The German driver finished in second place.

“Lewis then had an engine stoppage as he was beginning his long run on the option tire, and we have yet to diagnose this precisely,” he said. “That unfortunately cost him the high-fuel running in the session but our plan was always to change this unit overnight, so there should be no direct impact on tomorrow’s programme.

“Nico managed to achieve our objectives for the session and the data from his runs with both option and prime tires will assist both him and Lewis for the race.”

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.