Hamilton: McLaren making progress
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer
||Friday, March 27th 2009, 08:03 GMT
Lewis Hamilton is confident that McLaren is starting to make progress, despite languishing a long way down the order in the opening free practice sessions in Melbourne.
The reigning world champion was only 16th in the first session, and 18th later on - although his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen gave the struggling squad some encouragement with fifth place in the morning.
"My day was not too bad," said Hamilton. "It's great to be back. We're not as quick as we would love to be, but we are working very hard.
"We got through quite a programme and made some decent steps for us. We don't know what anyone else is doing on track, but we're happy with what we have done today."
Hamilton had complained over the radio of severe bottoming during the session, and he confirmed that had been an issue on long runs.
"It is a very bumpy track, at that time we were a bit too low, but that happens when on heavy fuel," he said.
The Briton could not pinpoint any particular issue that was responsible for McLaren's lack of speed, but did feel that the team was in better shape than it had been in the last major pre-season test.
"In general, it's just a general lack of grip everywhere, it is not one particular area of the corners," Hamilton explained. "We cannot carry the speed through corners we would like.
"We are working very, very hard. We've made some steps forward, the gap to the others is not as big as it was at Barcelona. But there is no quick fix, it is going to take time."