Lewis Hamilton feels Mercedes is in a “decent position” after sweeping to one-two finishes in both Formula 1 practice sessions on Friday at Interlagos ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Two weeks on from clinching his fourth F1 title in Mexico, Hamilton showed few signs of easing off at the front of the F1 pack as he topped the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 in Brazil, laying down a new track record in the process.
Mercedes finished comfortably clear of rival teams Red Bull and Ferrari in both sessions, and while Hamilton is pleased with how his Friday went, the Briton remains wary of the threat that could arrive later in the weekend.
“It’s been a good day. It was pretty exciting to come to the track with the cars being so much faster this year,” Hamilton said.
“It’s physically more demanding than before which is great and it’s obviously quite warm out there today.
“We got through the long runs and the short runs; unfortunately, the tires don’t really last very long, so you only get one or two laps on the short runs.
“Overall, we got through what we needed to do. We’re in a decent position but I think it could be quite close.”
Teammate Valtteri Bottas took second in both sessions for Mercedes, finishing four-hundredths of a second behind Hamilton in FP2, but the Finn is confident that more time can be found.
“I think it was a positive day for us,” Bottas said. “Initially in Practice 1 we did some aero tests, looking at some things we can improve for next year. We now have some data to analyze from that.
“Otherwise, I think both the short runs and the long runs in both sessions looked positive for us as a team, so we have a good starting point for the weekend.
“Still, we were a little bit struggling to get the set-up right for each corner of the circuit. However, I was really enjoying this track and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”