Mercedes' W15 feels great at Barcelona, says Hamilton

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Having set the benchmark in Free Practice 2, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed that his car felt great on the opening day at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton found himself on top of the leaderboard in second practice, having fractionally beaten the likes of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

The seven-time world champion was not completely taken aback by the results as he has been feeling the improvements Mercedes has achieved in recent races.

"FP1 wasn’t the best session for us but we still learned quite a lot. FP2 was a lot better though and the car was feeling great.

"The track was very hot, so it was tough on the tyres, especially on the long run. Overall, though, it didn’t feel like we were too far off being right in the mix at the front.

"We have taken a step forward with the car in recent races. Everyone has worked so hard to get us to this point and make those incremental gains. We’ve got a clear direction of where we want to go moving forward too.

"We’re starting to see that feed through to our performance on track. Hopefully we can continue the momentum from today into Saturday and get closer to our competitors ahead.

His team-mate George Russell had a very strong day as well. The one-time F1 race winner looked competitive in Free Practice 1, but he was unable to get the best out of the W15 on his qualifying simulation lap in the second one-hour practice.

The Briton stressed the Mercedes still need to find the best compromise between its one-lap pace and race performance as it fluctuated between the two sessions.

"We had a good day on track today. The car was performing really well around this circuit. It was encouraging to see Lewis top of the timesheets and we were consistently at the front.

"Our long run pace in FP1 was competitive. In FP2, it seemed that our single lap pace was slightly stronger than our long run speed but overall, the car is feeling strong. It is only Friday, but it has been a while since we’ve been consistently at the upper end of the field.

"I’m feeling good and excited as this is what we’ve been chasing for a while. We won’t get ahead of ourselves though and will work diligently tonight and tomorrow to prepare as best as we can for Qualifying and Sunday’s Grand Prix," concluded Russell.