Opening days leaves Hamilton feeling he'll be 'in the fight'

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Lewis Hamilton admitted there were a few factors that complicated his Friday, but the world championship leader believes - rather predictably - that Mercedes is in the running.

Hamilton was P4 in the morning session but progressed nicely in the afternoon to conclude his day second but very close to teammate Valtteri Bottas in FP2.

The Mercedes driver cited the wind blowing across Silverstone as an element that through a bit of a tricky spanner into the works.

"It's been quite windy, quite gusty out there, so it hasn't been the easiest of days, but we were up there nonetheless, and it looks like we'll be in the fight," Hamilton said.

"It's always difficult to say after the first day though and the Ferraris are usually a little bit slower on a Friday and then pick up the pace on Saturday.

"The new track surface is better on the straights, especially between Turn 4 and Turn 6 where it was pretty bad before.

"It's still bumpy on the exit of Turn 7 and towards Copse, but after that it's nice and smooth through Maggotts and Becketts and down the Hanger straight."

Hamilton was another driver to confirm that the circuit's new smooth tarmac is having a direct impact on tyre temperatures.

"The asphalt is very smooth which makes it tricky to get the tyres to work, they're in and out of the window, and the gusty winds didn't make it easy.

"I was struggling with the rear end and went off a few times, but Valtteri seemed much more comfortable in the car, so we are going to dig deep tonight trying to figure out what the issue is and how we can solve it for tomorrow."

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