Lewis Hamilton was quick to praise Mercedes for the updates it has brought to its W08 Formula 1 car after dominating Friday practice in Spain, saying the team has done an “amazing job”.
Hamilton has been embroiled in a close fight with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel through the early part of the 2017 season, and currently trails the German by 13 points at the top of the drivers’ championship.
Mercedes arrived in Spain with a raft of updates for its W08 car in the hope of creating a gap to Ferrari, and appeared to do so in practice as Hamilton headed up a one-two finish for the Silver Arrows in both sessions.
“First practice was very, very good but in second practice the track changed and shifted quite a lot, so it was slippery and quite a lot slower for everyone, especially with the gusts of wind,” Hamilton said.
“It was massively challenging but still fun nonetheless. The team has done an amazing job with the upgrades and the car is working just as we expected.
“It’s been a much better start to the weekend for me than in Sochi, so I’m very happy. We’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep working, we want to be number one.”
“It was a pretty good day for the team,” technical director James Allison added. “We have some new bits on the car for this weekend that we wanted to try out and ensure everything was working well with those and it seems like it is.
“At a track that can suffer from high tire degradation, we’re keen to ensure that our car is good on both the long-runs and the short-runs. We feel like we’re in better shape in that compared to winter testing.
“We’ve definitely made some progress and we’ll be in with a shout if we keep up the good work this weekend.”