The McLaren boys were happy with their practice session in Melbourne today, Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest time, with Jenson Button coming in second quickest.
They had the chance to put both sets of tyres through their paces and were pleased with the results. This is what they had to say ahead of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton told reporters: “It’s great to be back in Melbourne – I love this place. The track was very dirty this morning – everybody usually waits for some of the cars to clean the line, but I just wanted to get out there and have some fun! I definitely think we’ve made some improvements to our pace compared with Bahrain. And the feeling over one lap is better for us. That’s what we’ve been trying to work on since the first race, and I feel more confident that, going into qualifying, we’ll be able to attack the guys who were at the front two weeks ago. Despite this afternoon’s wet weather, we went out early in the second session when it was still dry and got some good running under our belts in order to see how some of the changes we’d made between the sessions felt. We’re feeling positive. We’d hoped to evaluate some further changes at the end of P2, but the track still wasn’t up to full speed. Nevertheless, we feel quite comfortable with the balance of the car. I actually feel very relaxed: I’ve got a car that probably feels better than I’ve ever had at this track, so that’s a major positive.”
Button added: “I’m reasonably pleased with the balance, and it’s just got better throughout the day. I’ve been happy since lap one this morning. It’s only Friday, and we may be lighter than some of the quick cars out there, but tomorrow we’ll see where we actually stand. Nevertheless, it’s important for us to find a good balance and get a good feeling with the car. We’ve just been trying to continually tweak the balance of the car, but it’s been tough because of the conditions and the traffic out on the circuit. Every time I’ve tried to put a good lap in on a new set of tyres, I’ve hit traffic. But we’ll make the best of it for tomorrow. For qualifying, the car should feel better than it did in Bahrain: it feels like we have the correct downforce level for this circuit. Both tyre compounds are working well too, so it’s all positive.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team