Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  15 March 2019

Lewis Hamilton 'super-stoked and excited' after topping practice

Lewis Hamilton says he's "super-stoked and excited" for what's ahead after topping both practice sessions for Mercedes on Friday at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Briton was eight-tenths clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen in third, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was only fifth in a low-profile practice for the Scuderia which saw Charles Leclerc more than a second down in ninth.

Hamilton described Mercedes' start to the season as "not bad at all" and compared the feeling of driving the W10 around Albert Park to that of last year's W09.

Related: Hamilton leads Bottas as Mercedes move clear in Australian FP2

"The car is in a similar place to where it was in Barcelona, which is really positive coming from a different track.

"We got through our program really well, no issues on track. There's plenty of things we can improve on, which is a positive, but it's absolutely not a bad start at all."

"I really have a positive buzz from driving the car today. It's not too dissimilar to how it was last year driving round here."

Although Mercedes look to hold quite an advantage after FP2, it isn't yet known if others were holding back. Hamilton though believes things have closed up when compared to last year which is an exciting prospect for the five-time champion.

"If you look how close it actually is, even the mid pack is a lot closer, so I would say even more than ever before there's even less margin for error.

"That's how it's supposed to be. That's where those of us that are driving get paid the big bucks to do, to pull out those milliseconds to try and make the difference. So I'm super-stoked and excited for what's to come."

The only negative Hamilton could muster from Friday's session was the on-track smell!

"It's strange because when you go round Turn 13 it smells like burgers and fries and stuff round there. It's horrible. It's a really bad smell," he joked.

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