Lewis Hamilton said he was pleased with the progress made by Mercedes during the first day of running ahead of the Indian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was fourth fastest on the times following the pair of 90 minute sessions but almost seven tenths of a second down on the leading time set by champion elect Sebastian Vettel.

Despite that, the Briton said he was encouraged by the performance of the W04 F1 on track with room for further improvement ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

"We made some good progress over the two practice sessions today," he said. "This morning wasn't so good but we completed a lot of laps this afternoon and made some good progress. It's difficult to get the set-up right here and this circuit is pretty tough on the tyres so I think everyone was struggling with the soft compound.

"Our car feels pretty good at this early stage but there are definitely some areas we can improve overnight. We're working towards a strong qualifying performance tomorrow afternoon, ideally on the second row, and then hopefully a place on the podium, that would be nice."

Team boss Ross Brawn meanwhile insisted that the Friday sessions had been a 'good, steady start' to the Indian weekend.

"We had a decent second practice session this afternoon," he said. "We managed to improve the car balance relative to this morning and did the work we wanted to. As always, we now have a busy evening ahead of us exploring the data and seeing where we can make further improvements. We didn't encounter any major problems today, so it was a good, steady start to our weekend and we will aim to build on that tomorrow."