Lewis Hamilton was looking a lot happier out on track at Silverstone, in practice for this weekend's British Grand Prix.
After a rain-hit fFP1, Hamilton was second quickest at the end of Friday's second session and just 0.163s off the top time set by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.
He said Mercedes were finally closing the gap to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, although there was a way to go in getting the Mercedes W13 fully up to scratch.
"It has been a good day, we managed ten laps in FP1 which was better than most, so I was happy with that," Hamilton said.
"It’s still bouncing quite a bit, not necessarily in a straight line but through the corners is pretty harsh," he told Sky Sports F1. “Not physically harsh, but just like in the car, on the tyres and everything.
"You can’t just drive the tracks the same as you used to with this car with how stiff it is, the ride characteristics and this porpoising that we do get which a lot of it is actually from the ride stiffness.
"Tt’s not the same but I’m still having fun," he said. "Turn 1 is great, and Maggotts and Becketts is still pretty mega, and Stowe - they’re my favourite corners.
"We’ve still got work to do, but it feels like a small step forwards," he judged.
Asked if he thought that the progress was due to Mercedes' latest set of packages, or whether Silverstone suited the car more than recent twisty street circuits, Hamilton said it was hard to tell.
“The upgrades wasn’t anything to do with ride, it’s just literally downforce," he offered. "It was difficult to feel the upgrades because you're coming from such a different track.
"We are coming from a low wing, low speed circuit to all medium and high speed circuits. We didn’t get to feel the car like this [in Canada].
"It’s much smoother this track which is much better, bit more like Barcelona in that sense," he suggested. "But this is the best track there is. It's still hair raising, and just epic to drive, and we are still fighting the car a little bit.
Now the question is whether Friday's qualifying performance will be matched by similar improvements in race race.
“Our long-run pace isn’t as good as the other guys but it’s not miles," Hamilton said. It definitely makes an improvement. I’m sure overnight we can work and improve the car like we want.”
Hamilton's team mate George Russell was only eighth fastest n FP2 but also encouraged by the how things were looking.
“There are some positive signs there, but there’s definitely room to improve, I’m sure," he said. “The high fuel [pace] was definitely more promising I think.
“We were a lot quicker and by the end, when the tyres warmed up, we were quicker than the Ferraris. By the end, they were tailing off, we were just improving lap after lap."