Although the Mercedes duo topped the timesheets in FP1, in FP2 they finished in P3 and P6. Hamilton believes other teams are catching up to Mercedes, especially Red Bull whose Max Verstappen topped the timesheets in the second free practice.
“It’s very close out there between us,” said Hamilton after FP2.
“I think the Red Bulls are just a little bit quicker at the moment. But even Racing Point, I think it is right with us. And then also Daniel Ricardo is very close.
“So that makes it exciting. We’ve got some work to do, that’s for sure, to try and dial in the car a bit more. But it doesn’t feel bad at all.”
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However, Hamilton doesn’t fault the car and finds the closing up of the grid to be natural.
“I think the car is just from race to race, it’s just different. Each race we go, some places we’re ahead, some places we are behind.
“As I anticipated coming to this weekend, we’re only into the seventh race, the field is going to get closer and closer as the whole of F1 develops. It’s already showing this weekend as we seem to be so close with everyone.
“And we’ve got to understand why – whether they’ve taken a step or we’ve taken a step back? Or is it just the track layout or downforce level? Who knows?
“We’ll work on that, but I’m excited for an interesting race, that is for sure,” concluded the Briton.
Valtteri Bottas also thinks the field is “the closest so far”.
“It seems very close,” said the Finn.
“Normally on Friday we’ve seen other teams performing maybe a bit better than us [than they do] on Saturday. But it looks closest so far we’ve seen.
“So I think that’s going to make an exciting tomorrow, and I’m sure we can improve a lot.
“But it depends on the others,” concluded Bottas.