Hamilton: Mercedes upgrades ‘really encouraging’

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that it is “really encouraging” for him to keep getting new upgrades on his Mercedes.

Some teams have already moved towards developing their 2019 cars, while Mercedes are trying to upgrade this year’s car whilst also look towards next season as well.

In the upgraded Silver Arrows, the Brit was two tenths of a second quicker than the rest on the qualifying runs in FP2.

“We’ve brought more upgrades this weekend; there’s so much work going on at home,” Hamilton said.

“It’s just really encouraging when you come to a race and you get an upgrade, knowing that this late in the season we’re also already working on next year’s car – it motivates me to get the best out of everything.”

After a below average performance, for his standards, in Russia last year, the four-time World Champion is looking to improve this time round.

“Sochi has been one of the weaker circuits for me in the past, particularly last year,” he continued.

“So I’ve done a lot of work to understand the balance and see where I can improve to try and rectify this – today has been good in that sense.

“From every race we’re learning more and more and particularly the last few races have helped us to really gauge which foot we need to start on for the weekend.

“It’s been a good day for us, so let’s hope that it continues tomorrow.”

While Hamilton struggled in Sochi in 2017, team-mate Valtteri Bottas took his maiden victory in Formula 1.

The Finn made it a Mercedes 1-2 on the qualy sims in FP2, but believes that Ferrari have more to come on Saturday and Sunday.

“The initial feeling of the car was good; however, there’s still work to do,” Bottas said.

“It’s so difficult to get a perfect set-up for each corner on this track, because the balance is so different throughout the lap.

“We brought some aerodynamic updates to the car that worked well and added more grip; we’ll see if that’s going to be enough for the weekend.

“It seemed like Ferrari weren’t really showing everything they have, so they will probably be stronger tomorrow. I think it’s going to be very close, so we’ll have to keep pushing.”

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