Slideshow: Hamilton struggles in Spanish practice

PUBLISHED: 18:47 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:58 26 October 2009

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Pictures courtesy of www.mclaren.com

LEWIS Hamilton struggled to get to grips with his McLaren during today s free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix. The 23-year-old from Tewin was third fastest in this morning s first session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona behind the two Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton

LEWIS Hamilton struggled to get to grips with his McLaren during today's free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old from Tewin was third fastest in this morning's first session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona behind the two Ferrari drivers.

He didn't fare any better in the second practice run, clocking the 11th best time.

Hamilton's Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was fifth and 16th fastest over the two sessions after suffering gearbox oil pump problems.

Hamilton admitted it wasn't the greatest day on the track for the team.

"We struggled with the balance of the car throughout both sessions today," said Hamilton, last season's World Championship runner-up.

"There was too much oversteer and we tried a lot of different things to improve but didn't make the progress we wanted.

"We will look at the information overnight, and I am confident we will find the improvements needed."

It wasn't all bad news for Hamilton though, with the McLarens running a heavier car.

And he insists the MP4-23 will run better in Saturday's qualifying.

Hamilton said: "As is often the case we ran with heavy race fuel loads throughout the long runs in both sessions, so the times don't really mean that much.

"Tomorrow is when it counts and I am looking forward to getting some more running under my belt."

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren's CEO Formula One, backed up Hamilton's assessment of today's action in Barcelona.

"Lewis suffered from oversteer throughout, and we will look at all the data overnight to find a solution," he said.

"As is normal on a Friday, both drivers ran with heavy fuel loads on the long runs, but there is no doubt that our competition looks strong."

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice president Norbert Haug also highlighted the testing conditions at the track.

He said: "On a difficult and very windy day with changing track conditions, Lewis completed his preparation programme for Saturday and Sunday.

"The times during the long runs didn't look too bad, but Lewis felt more comfortable with the car during testing here last week."

Hamilton was second in last year's Spanish Grand Prix.


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