Hamilton edges Raikkonen in practice

F1 news features Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton today

GETTYF1 news features Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton today

"But also I know in my mind that okay, there are 19 races to go".

"My thoughts are already on the world championship - I've lost two races in a row now and I am 17 points down after just two races".

There was just 0.108secs between Hamilton and title rival Sebastian Vettel in fourth, with Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes third. "So I anticipate they are going to be very fast". Last season, five different drivers won races, all from the top three teams: Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has won both races so far this season.

It was at the third race (China) that a sequence began which saw the German take the championship lead which he held all the way until the summer break, after which it all slowly began to fall apart. Hamilton's 1m33.999s, set on the soft compound tyre, remained the fastest time at the end of the session.

"I obviously know what doesn't feel right in the vehicle, but now we need to find the answers and change that for tomorrow".

"We've got the team, we have the abilities and capabilities, it's just about putting our minds to it and pulling together." he continued.

"But if we do, like this weekend, and we find the sweet spot, then I'm pretty confident that we can do well there as well". "But what's important is that we all stay on our toes".

"We all need to be performing at our utmost and it's even more crucial this year as it's magnified because we are so close".

"I remember it back here in 2007, it was unbearable the loss of the world whampionship here - the race after qualifying on pole and leading the Grand Prix (in Japan)".

"That was very much a fortunate scenario for them, but they capitalised on it".

"The next race they did a good job, but not the whole job". We've been progressing through the sessions and we've got a good idea.

He said: "It should be a good track for us but I think it is going to be a lot closer than you think".

Haas and Renault look as though they could be locked in a battle this weekend for "best of the rest" with the quartet locking out positions seven through to 10 in opening practice as Toro Rosso look to have taken a step backwards from last weekend's high in Bahrain with Pierre Gasly only 11th quickest.

Meanwhile, as in Bahrain qualifying last Saturday, a Williams propped up the order with the team's tough start of the season not showing an immediate signs of changing in Practice One.

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