• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

Tyres a concern for Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
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Lewis Hamilton: "The temperatures keep on rising until it feels just like driving on an ice-rink" © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton admitted that "looking after the tyres is going to be a real challenge" following practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton was quickest in FP1, but track temperatures rose for FP2 and he was only fourth fastest, ending the session the best part of a second off the pace. While Martin Whitmarsh had described the drivers as "reasonably happy" after FP1, Hamilton said that conditions in the afternoon were so difficult that the race would only be about who can preserve their tyres.

"Looking after the tyres here is going to be a real challenge," Hamilton admitted. "The track surface is extremely hot, and the amount of energy that goes through the tyres under braking is incredible: the temperatures keep on rising until it feels just like driving on an ice-rink. Tyre degradation will be a big issue for everyone around here and the weekend will be all about who can look after the tyres the best."

Explaining the gap to Rosberg on low fuel, Hamilton highlighted a change in wind direction as the biggest factor but admitted the Mercedes appeared to be strong.

"Wind direction also played a huge role today. On one lap, there'd be a headwind going into Turn Four, the next lap, it'd be a tailwind, then a crosswind. And that makes a big difference around the circuit. I think my fastest lap was set half an hour after Nico [Rosberg] set the fastest time of the session, and the wind was very different. In general, Mercedes looks quick. We're there or thereabouts, but we'll know more tomorrow. Overall, a tough day; a tough challenge, but we're all in the same boat."