Lewis Hamilton happy with Mercedes improvements but fears Red Bull far ahead
2008 World Champion ends Friday practice in fourth place
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 18/11/13 4:36pm
Lewis Hamilton has admitted the "Red Bulls are a long way down the road" after yet another one-two for the World Champions in Friday practice for the U.S. GP.
While Hamilton continued in vain to find the sweet-spot in his W04's set-up, the RB9 appeared to be a class apart at the Circuit of Americas as Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.
On a occasionally surreal day in Texas, during which fog, a missing Medical Helicopter and then a beached recovery vehicle all delayed proceedings, only the two Mercedes' of Nico Rosberg and Hamilton came close to matching the times set by the RB9s.
"It's been an ok day, nothing special, but it's good to see the team have moved forwards. We have made some small improvements to the car so I'm happy," said Hamilton, who ended the day fourth fastest.
Having previously spent the entirety of his motorsport career at McLaren, the 2008 World Champion has previously spoken of his struggle to master the braking system used in the W04 and revealed on what is the penultimate weekend of the season that those problems are still ongoing.
"I don't think I've nailed the set-up all year. It's not nailed this weekend and I don't think it will be nailed for the rest of the season! But we are constantly trying to improve and we got a long run in on the option tyre, which is a good thing," he told Sky Sports F1.
"The weather is good, the track is getting faster, and the Red Bulls are a long way down the road but we'll still try to give them hell and catch them."