Lewis Hamilton has warned rivals that Mercedes is unlikely to experience that same dip in form it suffered during the Singapore Grand Prix twelve months ago, despite personally enduring a frustrating Friday hampered by technical issues.
Having trailed Red Bull in FP1, Nico Rosberg powered to the top of the timesheets in the quicker FP2 session, almost three tenths clear of the opposition.
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - Free practice results (2)
Hamilton, meanwhile, languished down in seventh place after traffic on his first flying lap was followed by championship leader out-braking himself into turn one on his second flyer. Despite this, Hamilton is taking positivity from his team-mate's result, describing Mercedes' pace as genuine.
“We're going to be fighting tomorrow, for sure, hopefully for the front row,” he said. “It's much, much better [than last year]. Obviously last year was a disaster but today we looked like we're quick and it looks like it's genuine pace so I think we have a fight on our hands, hopefully with Ferrari.
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“There's always a little bit to find but generally I've not got any problems. It's just taking it one step at a time to improve it, but we're pretty close I would say.”
Though he would miss the final 20mins of FP2 with a hydraulics issue, Hamilton says the minor problem has already been fixed and that the lost track time isn't a concern heading into qualifying.
“They fixed it, it was a small thing. It is a little bit of a disadvantage [to lose time] but it's nothing that we can't handle. There's days when we've missed a whole session.”
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