Hamilton will move to Mercedes after six seasons in Formula One with the Woking based team.
“It’s been a positive first day – I hope we can maintain our form or even progress it tomorrow. We’re certainly looking strong, but this place can be so tough on tyres that it’s hard to make any accurate predictions at this stage”, he said.
“The track and ambient temperatures were so high today that it felt almost as though I was sliding around the track with the tyres melting! Having said that, our long runs are usually tougher on the tyres [than shorter runs], but our long runs still looked quite good today”.
“It’s great to have such a positive final Friday with the team – it’s been one of the best Fridays we’ve had for a long, long time, in fact. I’m savouring every moment of this weekend, and I’ll be taking photographs of my engineers and mechanics through each day. The car feels really good – thanks, guys – and it would be the perfect Saturday if I could take pole tomorrow”.
Jenson Button added that his lower downforce set-up didn’t work as well as Hamilton’s package.
“We were running a lower downforce set-up package to Lewis this afternoon. It was quite an interesting comparison, but, in the hot weather, lower downforce makes things trickier because the car slides more, which hurts the tyres”, said the 2009 world champion.
“Still, it was a useful test, because we needed to see how well the smaller rear wing works. Obviously, it operates in a different way [from the higher-downforce set-up package], so we wanted to be able to understand that”.
“Using the smaller rear wing, our long-run pace was surprisingly good. However, our single-lap pace wasn’t as strong – probably because we weren’t able to use DRS as fully as we could with the bigger wing”.