Hamilton: Tyres a 'real challenge'
Lewis says soaring temperatures making tyre management tricky
Last Updated: 20/04/12 4:11pm
Lewis Hamilton admits the high track temperatures the field have to contend with in Bahrain made the track surface "like an ice rink" during Friday practice.
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For the first time in two years drivers and teams got to experience the consistently high 30 degrees-plus track and air temperatures that are a constant factor at the desert venue, with numerous drivers complaining of a lack of grip on the soft tyre during second practice in particular.
After topping the morning session, Hamilton slipped to fourth in the afternoon as Mercedes' Nico Rosberg set an impressive pace at the front, and afterwards the McLaren driver admitted tyre management had been a challenge.
"I enjoy driving this circuit, it's a real challenge," Hamilton told Sky Sports News' Craig Slater.
"And particularly looking after your tyres here is a real challenge as well. I don't know if people fully understand just how hot it is out there and how hot the track surface is.
"When you're braking the amount of energy that goes through your tyres and that. The temperatures are just rising and rising and rising and it's just like driving on an ice rink."
Hamilton also played down the gap between his fastest time set in Practice Two with that of the table-topping Nico Rosberg, pointing out that track conditions were very different when their respective quickest laps were set.
"Wind direction also played a huge role today. On one lap, there'd be a headwind going into Turn Four, the next lap, it'd be a tailwind, then a crosswind. And that makes a big difference around the circuit. I think my fastest lap was set half an hour after Nico set the fastest time of the session, and the wind was very different.
"In general, Mercedes looks quick. We're there or thereabouts, but we'll know more tomorrow. Overall, a tough day; a tough challenge, but we're all in the same boat."