Lewis Hamilton says his hopes of winning a third British Grand Prix title are all but over unless he can extract more pace from his Mercedes on day two of the Silverstone meeting.

Despite an early spin, the Briton led the way for much of the morning practice session, but was never entirely happy with his car, and then saw team-mate Nico Rosberg overtake him on the timesheets after returning from a gearbox change with fresher tyres and on a track that had evolved positively throughout the 90 minutes.

The second session remained almost entirely in Rosberg's grasp, with Hamilton ultimately being pushed back to fourth spot by the two Ferraris as he complained about the handling and performance of the W06.

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"It was not the easiest of days, but it's generally been okay," the world champion conceded, "The long run pace was not so great, but we definitely have decent pace. We've just got a bit of work to do on the set-up. I've not really got to sit down to do the maps to look whereabouts [the issue] is, but it's a general balance thing that we've got to get right."

Asked whether there was still time to come from #44, Hamilton was unequivocal in his response:

"Hopefully there's a lot," he opined, "because, if not, then we're in trouble! The car wasn't feeling bad today so it's going to be close as the Ferraris look like they should be closer. It should be a good race."

After seeing his pole position advantage disappear along with the lights at the Red Bull Ring last time out, the subject of clutches was also raised, but Hamilton appeared a lot happier with developments that see him return to the system with which he started the season.

"So far, it feels really good," he reported, "I don't want to jinx it or anything like that, but it feels very good. It feels the same as it was in the first four races, so we'll see how it continues through the weekend."