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Hamilton pleased to set the pace

25 November 2011

Lewis Hamilton was pleased to set the pace on the opening day of running at Interlagos after the topping the times in Friday practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver led the way in the second 90 minute session in Sao Paulo to beat Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to top spot and he admitted he was pleased with the performance of his car – even if he couldn't be sure what the Red Bull pair had up their sleeves behind.

“The car felt really good today – on both high and low fuel,” he said, “and degradation on the new Option tyre seems pretty acceptable; I was still doing decent times at the end of my run. I think there's still a bit more to come, but we're looking strong for the rest of the weekend.

“I also felt quite comfortable with the set-up changes we made going into this afternoon's session, and our long runs seem to be pretty competitive too. You never know what the Red Bulls are doing, but I'm comfortable that we're there or thereabouts.”

Team-mate Jenson Button, who was second quickest in the opening session of the weekend, ended the day in seventh on the timesheets, admitting afterwards that he was struggling somewhat with the option tyre.

“The two tyre compounds we're using this weekend are closer to each other than we'd expected,” he said. “The prime is working well, and I think we understand where we are with it, but I'm struggling a little with the option. I couldn't quite get a balance on either low-fuel or long-run – it just wasn't really working with my set-up.

“Happily, we know some of the reasons for that – we just didn't have time to try those solutions today. But we've made the soft tyre work all year, so I'm confident we'll get it right tomorrow.”


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