‘I feel better in the car than I've done for a while’, says Hamilton after topping FP2
Lewis Hamilton ended the first day of running in Singapore at the head of the timesheets – and the championship-leader revealed that he was revelling in life behind the wheel of his Mercedes W10 at a track where he’s won four times previously.
Hamilton ended Friday’s floodlit second free practice session 0.184s ahead of Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, and over eight-tenths clear of the next fastest driver, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – while Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas was over a second adrift in P4, having slid his car into the wall in FP1.
But coming off the back of two races where Mercedes found themselves beaten by Ferrari, Hamilton admitted that he was happy to be setting the pace again.
If you can get into a real groove and a rhythm here, it’s such a beautiful lap
“It’s been a good day,” said Hamilton. “I was really happy. I felt much better in the car today than I have done for a while, so I hope that stays over the weekend.
“If you can get into a real groove and a rhythm here, it’s such a beautiful lap, so I’ve really been enjoying them. We’ve definitely got some areas that we can improve, which is always good. Nothing’s ever perfect, so I’ve got to go and study; areas we can improve on the car, but also areas I can improve in braking, turning points etcetera.”
As to where Hamilton felt his main competition was going to come from this weekend, the world champion was unequivocal about the Red Bull threat.
“The Red Bulls look very, very quick. I’m excited for the challenge though,” said Hamilton. “I was obviously quickest in [FP2], but they were very, very close behind us. Whether or not [Verstappen] had a perfect lap or whether we were more turned up than them, I’ll find out later.”
So, if you enjoyed Hamilton and Verstappen’s epic duel in Hungary, strap yourself in – it looks like we’re set for a repeat this weekend, as Hamilton looks to make it win number five in Singapore… and extend his 63-point lead in the drivers’ standings.