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Formula 1 British GP

Hamilton: Something “wrong” with Mercedes F1 car at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton thinks his failure to make gains on soft tyres in Friday practice at Formula 1’s British Grand Prix shows something is “wrong” with his Mercedes. 

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

The Briton and team-mate George Russell ran a different programme to other squads on the opening day of action, as they steered clear of using the soft tyre in FP1. 

However, after going for the softer compound in the afternoon, neither driver found a major step forward in lap time – which has left them confused about what is happening. Hamilton ended up 15th in FP2, with Russell three places ahead in 12th.

Speaking about his day, Hamilton said: “We’re battling the same thing most of the time. It’s a tough car to drive.  

“No matter what we do to set-up, it continues to be a tough car to drive. On a single lap I didn’t feel any improvement between tyres, which shows that something is wrong. We’re missing something.  

“On the long run it didn’t seem to be too bad, so that’s a positive at least.”  

Hamilton said that even the long run pace had not been clear to understand though, because he sensed the pace picked up towards the end of his stint. 

“It didn’t feel particularly great if I’m really honest, but it must have felt worse for others because they weren’t as quick or potentially had more deg,” he explained. 

“The last part of my run was starting to feel more consistent, for whatever reason. It might have been wind, it might have been balance, or me getting used to balance.  

“This track is really about trying to weigh the scales the whole way around and making compromises here and there. There’s such a fine edge on the balance and such a big balance window. It’s back and forth, it’s never just here and you can just drive it.  

“It’s like one end to the other end of the spectrum, from braking to turn in, to mid, to the exit of every corner. So, it’s a good battle.”  

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Russell said that there was no obvious explanation for what had happened, as he said a deeper analysis would be needed ahead of Saturday running. 

“Definitely not our finest Friday,” he said. “I think conditions will be different tomorrow, but we need to try and get to the bottom of it because the pace and FP1 was looking reasonably good on the medium tyre.  

“We thought it was right up there if we took the soft. But in FP2 we were nowhere. So, we just need to try and understand that.” 

Hamilton said that Mercedes’ performance was further clouded by the fact that both he and Russell seemed ready to switch set-ups and follow what the other did. 

“Me and George were just talking and he’s one way, he’s over here with the set-up, I’m over here,” explained Hamilton. 

“He was like ‘I’m thinking of coming to where you are, but your lap time is slow’ and I’m like ‘I was thinking of coming to where you are’. But we’ll try and work on it tonight. 

“Mick will do some work on the sim tonight. Hopefully, we will come up with something for tomorrow.”  

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