Lewis Hamilton says he needs a dry weekend if he is to be competitive at the Brazilian GP
Brit says 2013 has been the worst season of his career in the rain
By William Esler
Last Updated: 22/11/13 8:38pm
The 2008 World Champion was nearly half a second slower than team-mate Nico Rosberg in the opening session of the weekend and that gap increased to over eight tenths in Practice Two. He also spun in the tricky conditions in both sessions.
Hamilton prides himself on his wet-weather pace, but says this has been his worst season in any formula in the rain as he struggles for feedback from the Mercedes W04.
"Particularly in this car, it has been the worst year of wet running in my entire career," he told Sky Sports F1.
"I've been looking back on my career and in the rain was always the best for me - that was when I could really make the difference. In this car there is no hope for me, I don't know what is going on, we are just really, really struggling with the throttle mapping and all these kinds of things. But clearly the car is quick enough as Nico is able to do it, so I just need to work harder and see what it is.
"I am struggling just to keep it on the track - it was the same in Australia and wherever else it has been raining, it has always been the same."
The 28-year-old completed just nine laps during the 90 minutes of Practice Two in an effort to preserve his wet tyres for the remainder of the weekend. The teams are limited to four sets of intermediates and three sets of wet tyres on a race weekend and Hamilton thinks the rules should be changed to increase the spectacle for the fans.
"It is kind of silly that you have a whole test day and you can't go out because you don't have enough tyres, so it is not good for the spectators," he added.
"I am pretty sure that if you don't use the tyres they still cut them up - even if they are brand new tyres, they take them away and cut them up the ones that you don't use."
On the subject of tyres, and two sets of 2014-spec slick medium compound rubber were made available to each car on Friday, a move which Pirelli hoped would give them some valuable feedback on next season's tyres.
However, the persistent rain that dogged the sessions scuppered those plans with Sebastian Vettel the only driver to complete any mileage on them, and that was just an unrepresentative single lap in the damp.
Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn said his outfit saw no sense in trying out the prototype rubber given the miserable conditions.
"We always work on the principle that bad information's worse than no information. With all due respect, Red Bull may well have found something out that we don't anticipiate, but we couldn't understand what you would learn in those conditions," the Englishman said in the team bosses' press conference.
"Even though it looked like they were trying to take the profiles of the tyres and so on it was difficult to see how it could be useful. Certainly our conclusion was there was no use for us with what we wanted to do to run the tyre this morning."