Hamilton condemns practice misery: ‘It got worse and worse’

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Lewis Hamilton has condemned his second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix as “one of the worst” in a long time.

The Mercedes driver finished only 18th fastest after failing to set a representative qualifying simulation on the soft tyres.

Seven-time champion Hamilton was the first to start a flying lap following a red-flag period triggered by Alex Albon’s heavy crash at turns seven and eight, but the Briton failed to make it through the first corner without taking to the grass.

Hamilton went on to finish just ninth in first practice, albeit with a tightly grouped top 10 perhaps failing to do his efforts justice.

In the second session, Hamilton failed to exploit his soft tyre runs, whilst there was also an issue with the cake tin – the carbon-fibre brake shroud – on his W15 that required duct tape repairs.

Overall, though, was team principal Toto Wolff’s admission that setup experiments “massively backfired”.

‘Least confident I have ever felt’

Addressing his day’s running, a clearly dejected Hamilton said: “I don’t feel great. We had one of the worst sessions I have probably had for a long time.

“FP1 generally felt quite good. The car actually felt the best it has ever felt but then it just got worse and worse. We made some big changes into FP2 and it was tough.”

Asked if any positives could be taken into final practice and qualifying, Hamilton replied: “After that session, I feel the least confident I have ever felt with this car.

“But there are positives from that FP1 run that we did.”

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