Hamilton primed to bounce back
6:38am Saturday 7th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Lewis Hamilton is hoping the words of Jenson Button come true this weekend in his bid to land a fourth Canadian Grand Prix victory.
After Hamilton's run of four successive wins this season ended contentiously in Monaco a fortnight ago with bitter defeat to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Button expressed confidence his fellow Briton would strike back in Montreal.
In terms of drawing first blood at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton did so convincingly by finishing 0.175 seconds clear of Rosberg at the end of the two 90-minute practice sessions.
It was the sixth time in seven Fridays over the course of a grand prix weekend Hamilton has finished ahead of Rosberg.
The German has invariably countered come Saturday, and then on race day itself, closing the gap to ensure a tight tussle follows.
But, at a track Hamilton has mastered in the past with three wins and a trio of pole positions, he will feel confident former McLaren team-mate Button was on the right lines.
"I've had lots of ups and downs over the years, and, with the downs, I've found the knack of being able to bounce back," Hamilton said in response when asked about Button's remark.
"Hopefully I'm able to seize that this weekend, although, for me, I'd say Nico goes into it as favourite because of the momentum he gained from the last race.
"Generally the person who wins the previous race has the momentum and therefore is the favourite.
"In a season like this, where it's me and Nico taking points off one another, you need that momentum to stay ahead.
"It's definitely a season where you have to be on point every single weekend, otherwise you'll lose seven points (the difference between first and second)."
Hamilton at least has momentum going into qualifying as he was happy enough with his day's work in practice.
"It felt pretty good out there, but we've still improvements to make and there is more to come from the set-up and balance," the 29-year-old said.
"This is quite a technical circuit which is all about the kerbs and apexes. You have to have a car that reacts well to the bumps.
"You're always trying to find the limit, so we're not quite where we want to be yet.
"Nico also looked very quick as well, so I have my work cut out for sure."
Despite the time gap to Hamilton, Rosberg was also smiling as he said: "That was a great day. I felt very comfortable in my car.
"In the morning we worked on some different things with the brakes which didn't quite work out, so we had to change that for the afternoon.
"It was much better for the second session, so I'm quite happy now with that, but I'm still (over) a tenth off the quickest time, so I'll work hard with our engineers tonight to find that extra pace."
As for the duo's rivals, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari pair Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso were all just around half a second adrift.
McLaren's Jenson Button was ninth, nearly a second down, with Max Chilton in his Marussia 18th, 2.5secs off the pace.