Lewis Hamilton says he will be “knocking on the doors” of his Mercedes engineers overnight as he looks to make the “right changes” to his Formula 1 car ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix qualifying. 

The Briton has endured a frustrating start to the 2018 season and arrives at the fourth round of the campaign at Baku this weekend looking to end Mercedes’ longest winless streak during the V6 hybrid era.

Hamilton, who was out-performed by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the last two races in Bahrain and China, once again found himself behind the Finn in both practice sessions on Friday.

Heading into the weekend Hamilton revealed Mercedes was working on short-term fixes to its 2018 F1 car after the German manufacturer has struggled to maintain its usual level of competitiveness in qualifying so far this season, particularly in relation to issues with tyre performance. 

And following the conclusion of FP2 Hamilton admitted the reigning world champions still had work to do if it wants to challenge rivals Ferrari and Friday pacesetter’s Red Bull in qualifying. 

“Overall, we weren’t quick enough today, both Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be ahead of us at the moment,” he said. “So we’ve got some work to do. I’m going to be knocking on the doors of all the engineers overnight, so that we can hopefully make the right changes.”

But Hamilton, who trails championship leader Sebastian Vettel by nine points after the opening three rounds of the year, said he was encouraged by what he described as a “smooth” start to the weekend for Mercedes. 

“But it’s been a smooth day. We got through everything we needed without many mistakes and we gathered lots of information. It started out quite warm but cooled down in the afternoon, which made it interesting to try and understand the tyres in both conditions.”

 

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