• Canadian GP - FP2

Hamilton wants Ferrari and Red Bull challenge

ESPN Staff
June 6, 2014 « F1 plans to cut Friday practice to one session | Rosberg to do some 'digging' to beat Hamilton »
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Lewis Hamilton says he hopes Ferrari and Red Bull's pace from Friday does mean they have closed the gap, though he believes Mercedes still holds a sizeable advantage at the front.

Ferrari demonstrated renewed pace in both practice sessions, with Fernando Alonso topping FP1 and Kimi Raikkonen half a second off Hamilton's benchmark in FP2. Sebastian Vettel also appeared to be within half a second in the afternoon's session and Hamilton is welcoming some healthy competition, but is still fully expecting his main challenge for pole to be from team-mate Nico Rosberg.

"It feels pretty good but we have improvements to make," Hamilton said. "I think for everyone whatever the package limit is we all put the car on the edge and yet there's still more to come from set-up tomorrow.

"The Ferraris look quite close - I hope that's true - and I hope the Red Bulls are close as well. But I don't think a lot has changed. We had quite a big gap to the other cars so they haven't just closed that up in two weeks. We've made improvements this weekend as well. Hopefully they are closer but not too close."

Hamilton spent much of the Monaco Grand Prix staring at the gearbox of his team-mate after failing to secure pole and he thinks qualifying could be equally crucial in Montreal.

"It's very hard to overtake here. I saw in the last race how difficult it can be to overtake so I'm sure [pole] will be important. Nico looks very quick so I will have to work very hard."

With three career victories in Montreal (2007, 2010 and 2012) Hamilton is the favourite this weekend but he says he held nothing in reserve during Friday's two practice sessions.

"Generally I just go as fast as I can and then come back in and figure out where I can go faster. Some people try to sandbag but that's not my way. We haven't got the set-up as well as we'd like but that's the great thing about this sport, you are always chasing the set-up.

"You change the set-up, drive it a little bit different and have to change it again to adapt to that, so you're always trying to get faster."

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