Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes using 'freebies' to experiment for 2020
World Champion Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes can afford to experiment across the remaining two rounds of 2019 now that it has wrapped up both titles.
Mercedes clinched the Constructors’ crown in Mexico and a week later in the United States Hamilton wrapped up the Drivers’ title for a sixth time.
Formula 1 still has this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix and December’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as two days of testing, before the curtain falls on the 2019 season.
“[Having won the title] doesn’t make it easier and it doesn’t – I still want to win the races,” said Hamilton on his and Mercedes' approach.
“It’s just as hard to win these races that are coming up but it’s almost a different approach for me know because you can be a little bit more aggressive and try some different strategies and different ways in how you go about the weekend and the processes.
“We’ve got two freebies, basically, to try some new things that can [help] next year.
“Obviously next year we only have six days as opposed to eight of testing [pre-season] so every tiny bit of an advantage you can gain in terms of changing things and gaining and being dynamic hopefully can pay dividends next year, so that’s our goal.”
Hamilton finished Friday practice at Interlagos in fifth position, behind the two Ferrari drivers, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“It started out really well so straightaway from the get go we started on a good baseline and we just made a couple adjustments in that short space of time we had in the session and then we’ll do some work tonight to refine it,” he said of his running.
“It is quite crucial because we only have two sessions ahead of qualifying [due to the wet weather in FP1] to get it right and we have to compact it a little bit more and be a bit more precise with the changes we’ve made.
“As I said we started off on the right foot already so it should be ok. I don’t know if we have three-tenths to get where the Ferraris are.”