Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen was quickest in qualifying for the primary spherical of the season in Bahrain, although Hamilton gained the race. The world champion predicted “it’s going to take every little thing and extra” to beat Purple Bull once more at Imola.
Nonetheless Hamilton was buoyed by Mercedes’ obvious progress on the primary day of working for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. “The staff positively labored actually arduous to attempt to perceive what occurred within the final race the place we have been weak and see if we will attempt to tweak the automobile a bit of bit higher with set-up,” he mentioned. “However I feel the observe has additionally come a bit of bit extra in our course.
“We began off with a extremely good set-up, and simply small tweaks right here and there, however nothing main, no main points. Thus far, good tempo for us.”
Cooler temperatures in Italy might also have labored in Mercedes’ favour, Hamilton added: “It’s manner higher. When it’s this cool, I imply it’s clearly a pleasant day, however the final place we have been at clearly in Bahrain it’s so heat so whenever you exit, already the temperatures are going up.
“The [tyres] are overheating all through from entry to center to the exit of every nook. That’s why right here you’re type of in a pleasant, candy spot in temperature, so it’s not so unhealthy.”
The observe situations improved between the 2 apply periods, with just one help race session occurring between these so as to add extra rubber to the observe floor.
“It’s fairly bumpy right here, however good grip,” mentioned Hamilton. “And the tyres are working very well right here.”
Mercedes take pleasure in a tempo benefit of 0.85 seconds over the quickest Purple Bull after Friday’s working. However Hamilton isn’t taking that at face worth as Verstappen was sidelined with a suspected driveshaft throughout second apply.
“I don’t assume we’ve seen the most effective from the Purple Bulls but,” mentioned Hamilton. “They seem like they’ve had fairly messy periods with site visitors and that. So it will likely be fascinating to see tomorrow simply how fast they’re.”