United States Grand Prix practice pacesetter Lewis Hamilton said the wet conditions at the Circuit of the Americas were “crazy”, and compared driving this morning with “trying to touch a rattlesnake”.
Hamilton is likely to start from pole position in Austin if tomorrow morning’s qualifying session doesn’t take place, having topped the FP3 times by 0.863s.
“Watching it on TV, you don’t realize how crazy it is,” said Hamilton. “Throwing the car around, it’s difficult to explain how tricky it is out there, difficult for people to understand.
“I’m imagining it as a rattlesnake, trying to touch a rattlesnake or seeing how close you can get your hand to it. Every time it kinda stabs at you, that’s like an oversteer moment for us.
“You have your moment, if you correct it, you’re good – it hasn’t bitten your hand. The ones where you end up in the wall, that’s when the rattlesnake’s got your hand.”
Hamilton then explained his huge moment at Turn 17 on his first lap of the session.
“I nearly overcorrected, and nearly went off into the wall. It’s a great track [in the wet], because you’ve got on-line and off-line grip. It’s a real challenge to find that grip.
“On my quickest lap through the Esses, which I really enjoyed, my car was drifting: aquaplane, drift, catch it, aquaplane, drift, catch it – I was like ‘this is a rollercoaster ride!’ ”