Lewis Hamilton downplayed Mercedes’ seemingly huge step forwards in practice on Friday in Miami, after the reigning Constructors’ World Champions put in their strongest showing of the season so far.
While George Russell finished the day as the fastest man, Hamilton wound up in fourth place and two-tenths behind his teammate.
It was an encouraging display from the W13, with the team openly admitting that this weekend is one of experimentation after identifying a few different potential solutions to the porpoising issues that have held them back this year.
But, despite the competitive showing on the opening day of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton offered a cautious assessment.
“Practice is just practice, so everyone’s doing something different,” he said.
“I don’t think everyone’s showing their true pace, but [it’s] tough out there with these temperatures.”
Hamilton: Mercedes’ porpoising hasn’t disappeared
Hamilton went on to explain that he was still affected by the bouncing down the straights.
“It feels similar to me,” he commented.
“I think we seem to be quicker here
and, later on, they [the engineers] explained to us that we definitely have improved in
“I’m not sure where that is, but we still have the
bouncing. We haven’t cured it, but I think they’re just, bit by bit,
improving the car.”
But, while seeming to downplay the effects of Mercedes’ set-up changes, Hamilton said he’s taking encouragement from the pace being shown.
“There definitely are positive elements to take from today,” he said.
“I’m still struggling with the car, [while] George looked great out there, but we’re trying a lot of different things – we’ll converge and hopefully improve.”