Hamilton denies hiding pace in practice against 'Mr Friday' Bottas

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Lewis Hamilton has denied hiding his true pace during practice after again beating Valtteri Bottas to pole at Portimao.

As Formula 1 got to grips with the rather gripless Portuguese track, it was the Finn who again held the edge over his Mercedes teammate by leading all three sessions across Friday and on Saturday morning.

In fact, having led so many practice sessions this season, Bottas had earned the dubious nickname of 'Mr Friday' because, when it matters in qualifying, Hamilton appears to have the edge, claiming his ninth pole in just 12 races this year and 97th in total last weekend.

"I don’t lie, I don’t have anything to hide, I don’t hold anything back," he said on if he lulled Bottas into a false sense of being ahead in practice.


"I’ve never personally felt that that’s worked. I remember when I was younger and in lower categories, some people tried doing that stuff.

"I remember trying it when I was in Formula 3, or something like that, and it never ended well so that’s never been something that was part of my philosophy."

Instead, Hamilton insists he simply goes through the process of perfecting everything across practice before putting the qualifying laps in.

"It’s like building a wall - you put one brick, the next, the next and you just continue to improve throughout," he explained.

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'There’s a lot of work that goes in the background, trying to fine-tune, get the right perfect setting for the brake bias and the diff and how you attack each corner. It just doesn’t come easy, so I’ve been pushing all weekend.

"I generally think I’ve been driving really well all weekend. I’ve been really happy with my performances through practice but he [Bottas] has always been at the top.

"So I really had to just continue to dig and to believe that I could eventually get there. Coming across the line and getting the pole, it was a great feeling, naturally, because I really had to work my socks off for it."