Lewis Hamilton feels more comfortable after reverting back to the old clutch setup on his Mercedes W06 Hybrid car ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
Hamilton has been struggling with race starts since the Spanish Gand Prix back in May when he changed to a new clutch setting, and has won just once in the past four races.
The Briton lost the lead of the race from teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg at the start of the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago, citing an issue with his clutch setting for his poor getaway.
Following practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday, Hamilton said that he felt more comfortable after making the switch back to his old clutch setup.
However, he still feels that there is plenty of work to be done as he trailed teammate Nico Rosberg in both practice sessions.
“It’s generally been a good day,” Hamilton said. “Not perfect – and we’ve got some work to do overnight – but the pace is decent. I didn’t have the ideal balance on the long runs and I’ve got a bit of work to do on setup.
“But otherwise it’s all been good. The tires feel strong – it doesn’t take too long to warm them up which is a positive.
“I’ve also gone back on clutch setup which feels really good so far – just like it did in the first few races. So, overall, it’s looking like a positive start.”
Just as he did in Austria, Hamilton said that he felt wary of Ferrari’s practice pace at Silverstone after finishing behind Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in FP2.
“Ferrari look strong again here and they were right there with us today, so it should be a good battle,” the Briton said.
“Hopefully we’ll find a bit more tomorrow otherwise we could find ourselves in trouble.”
He was, however, encouraged by the support shown by his home fans at Silverstone on Friday who made it to the track in spite of traffic congestion.
“I have to say, the fans have been fantastic this weekend already. The level of support is just incredible – and it’s only Friday! Fortunately the weather has been good so far and I hope it continues that way for everyone out there cheering us on.”