Lewis Hamilton says that he is generally pleased with his upgraded McLaren, despite struggling to match Red Bull in British Grand Prix practice.
The 25-year-old’s MP4-25 has been fitted with a number of improvements for this weekend, including the team’s interpretation of the ‘blown-diffuser’ system.
Despite this, Hamilton could not match the pace of either Red Bull driver and was forced to settle for the eighth fastest time.
However, the British driver is satisfied with the progress made by McLaren.
“I definitely feel we’ve made a step forward from Valencia,” Hamilton said after practice. “This is a track a bit like Barcelona, where you’d see nearly a second gap between ourselves and Red Bull.
“I don’t think we will be seeing that gap. I think tomorrow will be a lot closer. If we get the car set up right then we should have no problems.”
He added: “We put on the new components and I was quite excited this morning and the feeling of the car was quite positive. I was actually surprised about the pace that we had this morning. We made some changes and set-up wise they didn’t make the car better, but sometimes you find that’s the case.
“So we are going to go back to the set-up we had before and start from there again and hopefully tomorrow the set-up will be better. But generally I think the performance of the car is good.”
However, team-mate Jenson Button was frustrated with his days work; suffering to dial his car into the Northamptonshire circuit.
“Today’s been a little bit trickier than expected in the car,” said Button, who was only thirteenth in second practice. “First of all I couldn’t get a set-up for the car with the new package, but it improved at the end of the day, but there’s still a lot of work we need to do. We are not where we’d like to be. The car is very tricky in a few places around the circuit.
“We’ve definitely made some improvements in certain places, but we don’t have the right balance yet. I haven’t had a perfect day today, which is disappointing because even on a Friday it’s good to see so many people out there.”