Hamilton sees 'big battle' brewing for quali with faster Ferrari

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton endured a brutal day in the Bahrain heat on Friday, ending FP2 seventh following a cooler run in the early evening.

Hamilton gauged his car and conditions in the earlier part of the day before running through the team's programmes in FP2 in an environment closer to what tomorrow's qualifying session should deliver.

"A pretty normal Friday, really," Hamilton said.

"It was incredibly hot early on, with some of the very toughest conditions - both physically and in terms of working with the tyres.

"We got through that and then it was much cooler in the afternoon, giving us a much better representation of what qualifying and the race will be like."

If anything, the Mercedes stalwart is expecting an even bigger challenge from arch rival  Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari as the weekend progresses.

"I was able to get a much better understanding of where the car is in FP2. It was very close, with Ferrari fastest.

"In race trim they seem a couple of tenths quicker, so I'm expecting a great battle tomorrow and then again on Sunday. We'll work as hard as we can to try to close that gap.

"I have a great group of fans here and I tried to wave to them every time I went out. Their smiles really make a big difference. "
GALLERY: All the pictures from Friday in Bahrain

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