Valencia: Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton kept his spirits up after his McLaren team looked well off the pace at the European Grand Prix on Friday. "I'm about 95 per cent away from where I want to be with my car at the moment, but I'll get back 90 per cent overnight," the 2008 world champion told reporters after ending the day's second practice session in 14th place.
"Today has just not been one of those days. I think I know what the problem is. I have just now made all the changes, so I am quite confident that overnight we will rectify the issues that I had today, and tomorrow will be better."
Hamilton leads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, racing in front of his home crowd on Sunday, by two points in the championship.
The Briton's McLaren team-mate and fellow countryman Jenson Button, whose season has gone into freefall since he won the opening race in Australia, was 12th fastest and sounding less positive. "We've got a lot of work to do here still," he said, describing the car as being on a knife-edge between performing well and not.
Button has finished in the points in only three of the season's seven races and has scored only two points from the last four starts. He said his main problem was with the front brakes locking and that changes had affected the balance.
"We're going to go back on a few things that we changed through the session to a car set-up we know felt reasonably good," he said. "But it's difficult to be consistent with that balance because of the front locking. There are a couple of other things that we are thinking about doing for tomorrow morning which could be quite interesting.
"Personally I feel good in the car, I feel that the changes we make, make a difference and I'm confident we can find a setup that is going to work for us," added Button. "But whether we will be quick enough to challenge right at the front I don't know."