Lewis Hamilton is adamant Ferrari are not out of the running at Silverstone despite Mercedes setting the pace over short and long distances.
Valtteri Bottas was the man to beat in Friday’s second practice for the British Grand Prix, clocking a 1:26.732.
That put him 0.069s up on Hamilton while the best-placed Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, was two-tenths down.
But it wasn’t only over short runs that Mercedes showed great pace.
Hamilton’s race pace was billed as “supreme” by former team-mate turned commentator Jenson Button with the reigning World Champion comfortably quicker than his rivals on heavy fuel loads.
The Brit, though, says he’s not ready to rule out Ferrari challenging this weekend.
“It’s always difficult to say after the first day and the Ferraris are usually a little bit slower on a Friday and then pick up the pace on Saturday,” he told Crash.net.
Speaking about his day at his home track, Hamilton revealed that the newly resurfaced Silverstone circuit combined with blustering wind made for a difficult day out.
“The asphalt is very smooth which makes it tricky to get the tyres to work, they’re in and out of the window, and the gusty winds didn’t make it easy.
“I was struggling with the rear end and went off a few times, but Valtteri seemed much more comfortable in the car, so we are going to dig deep tonight trying to figure out what the issue is and how we can solve it for tomorrow.
“It’s been quite windy, quite gusty out there, so it hasn’t been the easiest of days, but we were up there nonetheless, and it looks like we’ll be in the fight.
“The new track surface is better on the straights, especially between Turn 4 and Turn 6 where it was pretty bad before.
“It’s still bumpy on the exit of Turn 7 and towards Copse, but after that it’s nice and smooth through Maggotts and Becketts and down the Hanger straight.”
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