Mercedes have “good platform" after Hamilton’s ‘best Friday of the year'

Mercedes have “good platform" after Hamilton’s ‘best Friday of the year'



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The seven-time world champion was just 0.190 seconds off the pace in FP1 as he finished fifth ahead of teammate George Russell in the sister Mercedes. Has Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen Had Better Teammates?Video of Has Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen Had Better Teammates?Hamilton remained fifth in FP2 while Russell emerged as Ferrari’s nearest challenger in third with a lap that was just 0.235s slower than Carlos Sainz’s benchmark.“It’s been a great day here in Singapore,” said Hamilton, who also hailed the changes made to the final sector of the Marina Bay circuit. “They have done an amazing job with the track changes; I love driving this circuit now more than ever. The new track surface is great, and it made the track even more enjoyable to drive. “Then the removal of the four corners near the end of the lap has absolutely perfected the circuit. It’s incredible to drive. “In terms of our day overall, FP1 was solid. We were still a little bit of where we wanted to be, but it wasn’t too bad. “FP2 was for sure the best FP2 session I’ve had this year. It was nice to finish a Friday feeling so positive. I think we’ve got a good platform to build off for the rest of the weekend. Related F1 team bosses remain wary over potential Andretti entry Verstappen: Red Bull’s Singapore struggles “way worse than expected””It’s the best I’ve felt from a Friday this year, so I hope we can do some good work overnight, as we always tend to do, and continue to improve.” 

Russell added: “It was a very positive Friday for us overall. The car is feeling really good around the circuit. “It definitely improved in the cooler temperatures of FP2 but equally, it still felt decent in the slightly unrepresentative conditions of FP1. “The times were very tight between several cars. Ferrari looked quick, particularly on the single lap. The long run performance across a number of competitors was also strong but we can be optimistic heading into the weekend. “We will do our usual work overnight and hopefully find some improvements heading into Saturday.” Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said: “We’ve had solid sessions today and both drivers have finished the day happy with the balance. “There’s a bit of work we need to do to understand how to approach the single lap on the Soft tyre; it didn’t feel like we were getting the most out of the compound and George was able to improve later in the run. “The long run was quite strong. It’s always tough keeping the heat out of the rear tyres here but we look to be more or less on the pace. “The performance order is interesting today. Ferrari looked fast, as do McLaren and Aston Martin and unusually Red Bull didn’t look like the ones to beat. “We’ll assume that they’ll sort that out for tomorrow, which is going to mean that a lot of drivers are fighting for the top grid spots. “It’s clearly very close so we’ll be pushing to find every little bit of pace overnight. We’re looking forward to an exciting qualifying session tomorrow.” “4 

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