Hamilton bemused by McLaren struggles
Lewis Hamilton was left scratching his head after struggling for pace during Friday's opening practice sessions for Sunday's European Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old, and current championship leader, failed to match the pace set by rival Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and, despite coming within a second of the German's time, wound up 14th fastest.
The 2008 champion had hoped to carry some momentum from his win at the Canadian Grand Prix two weeks ago and become the first man to win two races this season, but admitted that improvements must be made before qualifying if he is to reach his target.
"We didn't have a brilliant day today," said the McLaren driver.
"It was a bit of a struggle to be honest, but I'm quite confident that we can make changes overnight and get back into the hunt tomorrow.
"I wasn't totally happy with my car today, but, being realistic, you can't always get it absolutely right, can you? This year, we've usually got the balance spot-on during practice, but we perhaps didn't run precisely the correct set-up today.
"We think we know what the problems were though, and how to put them right, so we ought to be fine for tomorrow - I'm quite confident that we'll have improved things for qualifying."
His teammate Jenson Button continued to struggle for pace and finished the day 12th fastest
The 2009 champion, who has perhaps become accustomed to dealing with disappointment after a string of frustrating results, said he was feeling more positive about the balance of his car.
He said he was optimistic that the changes his team have scheduled for Saturday could put him back in the running.
"The car didn't feel too bad. We struggled a little with front locking, and the lap-time isn't quite there yet, but we've made some changes that should start to improve that tomorrow."