The opening day of the season for Lewis Hamilton was one of contrasts. In FP1 the Englishman was left stranded by an engine sensor failure on his first flying lap while in FP2 the 2008 world champion ended the 90 minute session fastest.
After the car failure in FP1 Hamilton stomped back to the paddock without taking off his helmet, a clear sign of his frustration, and throughout the Mercedes garage there was a clear expression of disappointment. In the afternoon however Hamilton and the team recovered. The 29 year old was obviously playing catch up having missed so much track time and was therefore one of the last drivers to use the softer option tyre in the second session.
“It really was a day of two halves today,” said Hamilton. “While it was disappointing to not get any track time this morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we’ll have to get used to that. It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and found the balance relatively fast.
“I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it’s a positive start but we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying.”