As expected, the COTA’s track surface made it difficult for the drivers, particularly this year given the new ground effect philosophy of cars.

Hamilton’s comments come after he drove the Mercedes W12 - the car which finished runner-up to Max Verstappen in controversial circumstances in Abu Dhabi 2021 - earlier in the year.

Speaking after FP2, Hamilton was asked how he found the bumpy track surface at COTA.

“Horrible,” he said. “I came here after Montreal and I drove last year’s car, and it was so good. I remember just getting out and just beaming from ear to ear, because it was so smooth. It had good downforce, good power. 

“Obviously this year we lost a bit of power with the biofuels and the car is so stiff. Now coming to drive the car... Luckily I don’t actually have many fillings, because if I did, they would have all come out this year for sure. 

“It’s just so bumpy and I’m really, really praying for a non-bumpy car next year.” 

Hamilton 'definitely felt improvements’ with upgrade 

Mercedes have introduced several upgrades for this weekend in Austin.

Part of that new package was a new front wing, however, Mercedes decided not to run it as they don’t have any spares nor can they give it to both drivers (as there’s only one).

Mercedes plan to have spares for next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, while the rest of the new parts were on the car.

Hamilton felt the upgrades were a step in the right direction as he ended FP1 third overall behind Carlos Sainz and Verstappen.

“Firstly, I’m super grateful to everyone back at the factory for working so hard and bringing us the upgrade for this weekend,” Hamilton added. “It’s been a tough year for everyone at the factory and for them to be continuously pushing and keeping their heads down and pulling out these new upgrades, I’m super grateful. 

“I kept the car in one piece today - just about - which is good. And definitely felt improvements in the car. Obviously FP2 was a bit of a waste in terms of figuring out performance, but P1 was feeling quite good. 

“I’m hoping we make some changes tonight and we’ll find out exactly where we stand. But it doesn’t feel like we are too far away.”