Lewis Hamilton was in a buoyant mood after a successful Friday in Mexico City, but given how volatile the behaviour of his Mercedes W13 has been at times this year, he is not getting too far ahead of himself.
Hamilton was in the mix near the front in both practice sessions on Friday, in among a top six in FP1 that was separated by under two tenths of a second.
While FP2 was set aside for Pirelli tyre testing, Hamilton also lapped fastest of the runners on the prototype compounds in second practice, finishing fourth overall behind three drivers who had sat out FP1 to give their seats to rookie drivers.
Second practice was mainly about gathering data for Formula 1’s tyre supplier, but having pounded around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and got his eye in, the seven-time World Champion enthused about his day’s work – and appears to be in the mix towards the front at this stage.
“I feel really, really good. Genuinely had a really good session today, so I really enjoyed driving around the track today,” Hamilton said to reporters after practice.
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“The car is feeling better and better as we work more through it, and we understand it more. And whilst we had the tyre test at the end, it was just reconnaissance laps – just like practice, practice, practice.
“But yeah, I don’t know really where we stand compared to the others because everyone’s on different programmes.
“Obviously George [Russell] was on a different programme because he missed P1, but I just focused on my own.”
But given how Hamilton and Mercedes’ hopes have fluctuated at different circuits as the year has gone by, he did not want to make too bold a claim about how well the team could do as the weekend progresses.
When asked if his form could translate into pace on Saturday, he said with a chuckle: “I have no idea. We never know with this car. Tomorrow morning it could slap me in the face and I will not be happy.
“I hope that is not the case, we will do plenty of work tonight to see if we can edge ourselves a little bit forwards.”