Lewis Hamilton says he expects there to be little to choose between himself and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg as they shared the spoils on the first day of free practice at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Putting an eventful build up to the Interlagos event behind him, Hamilton opened up quicker than Rosberg in FP1 by more than half a second, only to face the same deficit to his Mercedes team-mate in second free practice.
Seeking his first win in Brazil this weekend – seven years after he famously clinched his first world title around the Sao Paulo venue -, Hamilton admits the margin between himself and Rosberg is likely to be small ahead of qualifying and the race.
“Generally no problems out there,” he said. “I think it's going to be close, that's for sure. Nico's driving really well so it's going to be close.”
“I'm just focusing on the programme and trying to decide on the car. The set-up changes take quite a long time and I was stuck with a choice that I'd made from FP1 that probably wasn't the right one but we'll make it for FP3 and it should be good.”
With lap times unusually slower on those of the 2014 race, Hamilton says the more aggressive kerbs at turn two and eight are having an effect. Despite this, the champion says it is a positive move.
“Turn two has a big, big kerb. It used to be flat through there but now you have a lift. Turn eight has a big kerb now, we used to just run over the whole of it and now you can't.
“Those two corners on their own make a big difference. Before you could abuse the kerbs a little bit too much whereas now you go round them.”