Gay Links – All Posts: Mercedes puzzled after some Friday struggles at the British Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Practice
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Silver Arrows have some work to do ahead of qualifying at Silverstone

While Mercedes was hoping to start the British Grand Prix on solid footing, the team looks to be on the back foot ahead of qualifying.

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled at times during Friday’s two practice sessions. Hamilton finished in P12 during FP1, while Russell was behind him in P14. Things did not improve later in the day, as Russell finished 12th, while Hamilton was behind him in 15th.

“Today definitely wasn’t our finest Friday. In FP1, our pace on the medium tyre was looking reasonable and we thought we’d be able to make a good step on the soft tyre. However in FP2, we struggled,” said Russell in the team’s post-practice media report. “We’ve seen a small trend that when temperatures are hotter, we tend to take a step backwards. We also made quite a few changes between sessions, but we possibly didn’t compensate enough for the conditions. It was a difficult afternoon for sure, but we will dig into the data with the Team tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow.”

“It was very windy out there, as it often is here at Silverstone. I think that’s something that helps it become the best track in the world. It definitely made the car more inconsistent though, but we’re also battling the same challenges that we have been for the majority of the season,” added Hamilton. “It’s a tough car to drive and it continues to be so. On the single lap, we didn’t seem to make any improvement between tyres which suggests we’re missing something.”

There was a silver lining to the performance, as the W14’s race pace seemed stronger than its one-lap pace. That might make things difficult on Saturday, but better on Sunday.

“Today, it looked like we had a race car that could fight for a podium, with a qualifying car that would struggle to threaten the top-10. Clearly, we’ve got lots of work to do to understand why that is,” added Andrew Shovlin, the team’s Trackside Engineering Director. “We’ve got some investigations ongoing, but we’d like to check through more data to test our theories; we’ve also got Mick in the simulator overnight which will be a big help.”

“On the single lap, we didn’t seem to make any improvement between tyres which suggests we’re missing something,” chimed in the seven-time champion. “The positive for us is that the long run pace wasn’t too bad.”

“The positive from today is that our low fuel performance on the medium and hard tyre was good. Our long run pace also looked strong. It was also encouraging that our updates seem to be behaving as expected,” concluded Shovlin. “The list of things to fix is therefore not long, but it’s a very important one with regards to qualifying tomorrow. There is plenty of work ahead, but we’ve got lots of ideas and hopefully we’ll make good progress.”

The Silver Arrows get one more crack at figuring out the answers in FP3, ahead of qualifying for the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

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