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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton airs 'in the mix' Mercedes boost

Lewis Hamilton ended the second practice session from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on top of the timesheets.

Hamilton Spain
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To news overview © Mercedes F1

Lewis Hamilton has beefed up Mercedes' chances of a competitive weekend as he feels the team is close to being “in the mix” following Friday practice in Spain.

Hamilton ended the second qualifying session at the head of the pack, positioning himself just 0.022s in front of Carlos Sainz on the timesheet.

Mercedes has endured a difficult period over the last two years, struggling for form under the current set of technical regulations.

However, recent upgrades appear to have boosted its on-track pace, with George Russell taking pole position and the team's first podium of the year last time out in Canada.

Reflecting on the opening day of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton praised the car's performance amid hot temperatures that posed difficulties to tyre management.

“FP1 wasn't the best session for us but we still learned quite a lot," he said. "FP2 was a lot better though and the car was feeling great.

“The track was very hot, so it was tough on the tyres, especially on the long run.”

Hamilton notes Mercedes 'step forward'

Mercedes brought no significant upgrades to the W15 in Spain. However, there is a new floor. Although it is of the same specification as has previously been used, it is lighter.

Hamilton is hopeful it can fight towards the front for the remainder of the weekend. He added: “Overall, it didn't feel like we were too far off being right in the mix at the front.

“We have taken a step forward with the car in recent races. Everyone has worked so hard to get us to this point and make those incremental gains. 

“We've got a clear direction of where we want to go moving forward too. We're starting to see that feed through to our performance on track. 

“Hopefully we can continue the momentum into Saturday and get closer to our competitors ahead.”

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