Speaking yesterday, Lewis Hamilton stressed that the configuration of what is now officially, and cumbersomely, dubbed Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, would mitigate the advantage of Mercedes.
But even though mitigate does not mean eradicate, Friday practice suggests that not only is Mercedes still ahead, but its advantage is as big as ever.
"If you look at data, or you look at the GPS of other teams, their loss is in the latter part of the straights," said Lewis Hamilton. "You can reduce that significantly here so it should naturally, before everyone has put the upgrades on, be a closer gap I think.
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