Lewis Hamilton made 'big changes' to unlock Austin F1 practice pace

Lewis Hamilton says he had to make "big changes" to his Formula 1 car during free practice for the United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton made 'big changes' to unlock Austin F1 practice pace

The world championship leader topped both F1 sessions at Austin on Friday, and said he was very happy with his Mercedes after making significant set-up tweaks through the day.

"It's been a really good Friday, really happy with it," Hamilton said. "I always want to start on the right foot.

"We had to make some big changes, but I generally made some really good calls with the shift which we ended up making and it worked out really well.

"It's never comfortable, but it was a good day, I was happy in the car.

"I was making good steps forward in terms of the balance we were changing, so let's hope we can continue it."

Hamilton believes Red Bull looks a bigger threat than Ferrari so far this weekend, but he accepted the Italian team had a disrupted day, with Sebastian Vettel spinning off and suffering other problems, leading Ferrari to change Vettel's chassis.

"It's difficult to say, because Sebastian didn't really get much running, but the Red Bulls do look quick," Hamilton added.

"Red Bull look quickest between the two, but Ferrari didn't really do a lot today.

"We didn't really do a huge long run - we had a problem so that's why we had to stop halfway through.

"But the little bit that we did, looks like we're relatively close to the Red Bulls.

"Normally we're quick, then when we get to race pace we're often behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris, but today I believe we were equal with the Red Bulls, so that's better than normal."

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was less happy with his day after ending FP2 six tenths of a second down on Hamilton, but he said the two Mercedes drivers were trying different things on their cars.

"We got a lot of laps done, a lot of things tried with the set-up, different things with the different cars," said Bottas.

"Today was quite tricky. I wasn't that comfortable, but we did end up with very different set-ups to Lewis.

"Definitely he had a strong day - me maybe not so much.

"There are a lot of things with the set-up still to be improve, and also from my side many things to be done better, especially with tyre preparation.

"But I'm still confident that if I manage to improve into the right direction it still can be good and be a close battle."

shares
comments
Daniel Ricciardo surprised by timing of new Max Verstappen F1 deal

Previous article

Daniel Ricciardo surprised by timing of new Max Verstappen F1 deal

Next article

James Allen: New Verstappen F1 deal raises questions over Ricciardo

James Allen: New Verstappen F1 deal raises questions over Ricciardo
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021