13 March 2015
F1 Australian Grand Prix: Hamilton not expecting easy weekend
Lewis Hamilton insists that the Australian Grand Prix will not be a 'walk in the park' for Mercedes despite taking a practice session 1-2 behind team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Mercedes may have dominated the F1 timesheets in both free practice sessions at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but Lewis Hamilton insists that the weekend will not be a comfortable one.
The Briton, who took the individual title in 2014, finished second to team-mate Nico Rosberg in both 90-minute sessions in Melbourne but, while he was full of praise for the job Mercedes has done in keeping itself ahead of the opposition, maintained that he expected greater competition as the event rolls on.
“Mercedes has done an amazing job and we are here fighting for a race that we have the potential of winning,” he accepted, “I've still got work to do with the set-up but that's about it.
“It was a normal Friday really. Normal like last year - we had a great car, great speed - but still it's a difficult day and still the car is not perfect, so that is something we need to work on.”
Playing down questions about the ride height of his W06, Hamilton conceded that he was not happy at being slower than his team-mate, and acknowledged that there was more to get from the car.
“It's obviously going to be very close and I still have a lot of work to do with balance,” he reported after clocking 1m 27.797s to Rosberg's 1m 27.697s in FP2.
“I feel I have a little bit or work to do before tomorrow," he continued, "I'm not 100 per cent comfy with the car, but that's to be expected because it's the first day.
“The information we have shows pretty good pace, but there are still some quick cars out there and we can't go into tomorrow's session not thinking that those are going to be quick.”
Ferrari led the pursuit of Mercedes on day one down under but, despite having already got the attention of its midfield rivals, Hamilton insists that the Scuderia has yet to register on his radar as he concentrated on getting on top of his own machine.
“To be honest, I haven't even seen what times they have done,” he claimed, “I've just been focusing on doing my job, focusing on the laps and focusing on my fuel - all those kinds of things.”
Hamilton has one further 60-minute session to get to grips with his Mercedes before qualifying gets underway for the opening round of the season. The Briton qualified on pole last year, but lasted only two laps before succumbing to reliability problems, allowing Rosberg to go on and claim the win and an early 25-point championship advantage.
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