His best time deleted, despite how it might look, Lewis Hamilton claims that, particularly in FP2, Mercedes lost ground to Red Bull.
Having out-paced Red Bull by almost a second in the opening session, the tables were turned in FP2, with Sergio Perez topping the timesheets ahead of Lando Norris.
Lewis Hamilton, who would have been quickest but had his best time deleted for exceeding track limits, claims that between the two session Mercedes lost ground to its rival.
"Generally, it's been a good day," he said, "but there's still work to do unfortunately. I'm not unfortunate, it's the way it is.
"FP1 was a really good session," he continued, "we made some changes, and I wasn't happy in FP2, and still, not such bad pace.
"But I think we lost some ground to everyone," he added, "or they gained ground, so we have some work to do tonight, as always."
"The second session didn't look as strong," added the German team's trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin. "It was easy to overheat the tyres and that was making it harder to be consistent.
"Lewis had a lap deleted that would have us looking more competitive, but regardless, it seemed like we'd lost a bit of pace.
"That could be down to a number of things," he admitted, "perhaps we'd not adapted to the hotter conditions well, others may have improved, or it could be that some of our changes haven't worked as expected.
"It's useful to have found a few issues that we can get stuck into this as there's plenty we can do to improve, but the overall feeling from the second session is that it's going to be very tight at the front and both Red Bulls are looking like they are in the fight for pole."