Lewis Hamilton has concluded that the main issue he experienced during Friday’s practice sessions in Austin was down to a “disastrous” brake setup change.

After topping the opening practice session of the weekend, Hamilton slipped behind team mate Nico Rosberg in second practice as well as letting Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo get ahead, which resulted in Hamilton finishing in third position.

“I wasn’t comfortable in the second session,” Hamilton said.

“I had some problems with the braking, so unfortunately P1 wasn’t really good and then I got to P2 and when I was doing my laps I was constantly, at each braking zone, having a problem with the setting that we have. I need to work on that and make sure it’s better tomorrow.

“We made some changes that generally made the car better, but we made some brake setting changes that were disastrous and I was struggling to finish a lap without oversteer, but we will fix that tomorrow.

“Once we fix the brake issue we will be back on pace, which is good.”

While Mercedes was ahead on paper, Red Bull was again the best of the rest on Friday as Max Verstappen finished third in the first practice session, while Ricciardo was able to split the Silver Arrows in second practice.

However, it was the race simulation pace of Ricciardo’s Red Bull that caught the eye of Mercedes.

“I think they are going to be very quick this weekend, it looks like they will be very quick, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge,” said Hamilton.

“I guess more of our pace will show up tomorrow and we will get a better understanding, but they are definitely not far behind.”

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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