The Mexican Grand Prix was a momentous occasion for Lewis Hamilton, one that saw him become only the third driver to claim five world championships. But that didn’t stop the Briton labelling the afternoon as ‘a horrible race’, with his Mercedes struggling to P4 behind race-winner Max Verstappen and the two Ferraris. But after a promising day of Friday practice running in Brazil, Hamilton is hopeful that he can fight for victory this weekend…
While the drivers' title crown has now been wrapped up by Hamilton, his season is by no means over, with Mercedes still fighting for the constructors’ championship – and they know a fifth successive double championship will be celebrated in Brackley if chief rivals Ferrari fail to outscore them by 13 points at Interlagos.
The early signs look promising, after Valtteri Bottas led Hamilton home by just 0.003 seconds in Free Practice 2, while Sebastian Vettel was within a tenth of the Finn’s benchmark, suggesting we may have a closely-fought battle ahead of us on Sunday.
It was a much-needed performance boost for Hamilton, after a tough race last time out, and the Briton will be hoping he has the package to help him claim what will be just his second win in Sao Paulo.
“The car felt better than it did... in Mexico,” said Hamilton. “We still have problems that we are trying to work through and understand. But the pace doesn’t seem too bad so just have to keep working at it.”