Hamilton expects ‘tough weekend’ after practice battles – Motorsport Week

Lewis Hamilton says he expects a “tough weekend” at the Hungaroring after a difficult first day of racing.

The seven-time world champion finished the second practice session off the track in 11th place, 1.1 seconds off pacesetter Charles Leclerc.

Mercedes used the FP2 outing to experiment with their car amid a season where it has fallen from the front of the field.

Hamilton says his day was hampered further after suffering ground damage on one of his gas runs.

“I couldn’t run at the end because I suffered some damage to my floor so I lost a lot of downforce and after that it was quite difficult for the pace of the long run,” he said.

“So it’s going to be a tough weekend for sure, but we’ll give it our all and see what we’ve got.

“The car hasn’t changed this week and I’m the same driver this week as last week, but for some reason this track isn’t working that well.

“But I think once we get it right the gap is about the same as it was last week – about a second.”

Despite Mercedes’ struggles, Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell says it was still a constructive day for the Brackley team.

“Definitely not our smoothest Friday yet, a little strange as we think it will be wet for qualifying and the conditions will be drastically different on Sunday,” he said.

“So we tried a few things with the car and used it as a bit of a testing session because to be honest you can try and tweak anything for today, but there’s no point.

“It’s all for the rest of the weekend so although it was a very tough day it was probably a productive one.”

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