World Champion Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes W11 “felt pretty terrible” during second practice for Formula 1’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished second-quickest to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Friday’s opening session upon Formula 1’s first visit to the Algarve Circuit.
But Hamilton aborted a Soft tyre run in FP2 and then mustered only eighth later in the session, which was twice red-flagged due to incidents.
“FP1 was probably the better session for me even though the car didn’t feel that great,” he said.
“Then we made some changes into this one and it felt pretty terrible in FP2.
“We need to take a few steps back to figure out where we went wrong with the setup and see if we can improve for tomorrow.”
Hamilton hit traffic on one push lap in FP2 and expects the start of qualifying to be a difficult proposition for the 20-car field.
“It’s really difficult to get the tyres in the window for the first lap here, even with the Soft,” he said.
“Naturally, they are hard tyres, it’s the hardest range of tyres on the circuit like this, it should be expected I would say.
“I think Q1 particularly there will be a lot of cars out there and it will definitely be a dog fight to get positioned, to get a clear lap but everyone’s in the same boat.”
Hamilton nonetheless lauded the 15-turn circuit after its first full day of Formula 1 use.
“It’s massively challenging, the undulations are incredible,” he said.
“There’s a lot of places where you can’t see where you’re going.
“The exit of Turn 8, you’re looking at the sky for a period of time and you have no idea what’s beyond the hill. Also into Turn 11, you don’t know where you’re are and all of a sudden it arrives at you out of nowhere.”