“I think it’ll be a close run”– Lewis Hamilton thinks that the grip on Portimao is harder than last year, making everyone struggle.
Formula 1’s third Grand Prix of the season kicked off in Portugal on Friday, the FP1 was dominated by Red Bull, but in FP2, Lewis Hamilton made a comeback for Mercedes.
However, Briton is not optimistic about the weekend and mentioned his predicament on the track. But at the same time, it claimed that everyone suffered because of it.
“It’s pretty much the same,” he said. “I think it’s a little bit grippier but it’s very windy. Today. I think everyone was struggling, sliding around out there.”
“It’s difficult to say whether it’s the car or the wind or the track,” he added. “It’s definitely been a real challenge today.” Pirelli announced the three hardest tyres in its range – the C1, C2 and C3 – for this weekend’s race.
Hamilton believes they should have gone a step softer, “Generally it feels like we came here last year and the tyre was too hard and we’ve come here again this year with the same tyre – or actually, they’re even harder this year,” he said.
“It feels like we’ve come with too hard a compound in my opinion, I think it should have been mid-range, C3 [and] C4. But everyone’s on the same one so we’ll get through it somehow.”
A stiff battle again
This season Red Bull has uplifted its game, and in this race, nobody is discounting their threat to Mercedes, and Hamilton resonated the same opinion.
“I think it’ll be a close-run,” he said. “We look like we’re close. I don’t know how Max’s lap was. Mine wasn’t perfect. We’ve definitely got some time to come from the car and some improvements to make.
“I’m sure they have too. But it’s close, as it has been the last couple of races, so it’s exciting.”