Lewis Hamilton lamented a forgettable opening day of practice for the Belgian GP
Mercedes star hopeful he can improve his car ahead of qualy, however
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 23/08/13 4:56pm
Lewis Hamilton was left to lament a forgettable opening day of practice for the Belgian Grand Prix but still reckons that he and Mercedes have what it takes at Spa this weekend.
Hamilton was 12th fastest on Friday afternoon having been 15th overall in the morning's damp opening session.
Mercedes had been expected to pick up where they left off in Hungary, where Hamilton claimed his first victory for the Silver Arrows.
Spa is a much faster track and has a completely different layout to the Hungaroring. As such, Mercedes have revised bodywork on their W04s this weekend but Hamilton appeared to struggle with the balance of his car.
"It hasn't been a good day generally. I still feel cool but I've been struggling. The car doesn't feel the same as it did in the last race, that's obvious because we have less downforce this weekend," Hamilton told Sky Sports News.
"We've got some work to do tonight."
Hamilton can take heart from the fact that Mercedes have overcome similar slow starts to their race weekends this season - not least at the Hungaroring, where Hamilton also claimed pole position before winning the race.
When asked by Craig Slater whether the same story might unfold, Hamilton's response was more upbeat.
"Who knows? We'll see. I don't think the car's bad, we just need to refine the set-up a little bit - gear ratios and wing settings, all those things, we really need to take a deep look into that," he said.
"The Red Bulls obviously look very quick, but I don't think they're unbeatable."
Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were respectively first and second fastest during the afternoon session.