Mercedes a "long way off" at Spa, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton thinks Mercedes is a "long way off" at Formula 1's Belgian Grand Prix after a difficult first day of running.

Mercedes a "long way off" at Spa, says Hamilton

With the team hoping to build on the momentum gained in recent races, which included George Russell's pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, it had felt that this weekend's event at Spa-Francorchamps would offer it some good opportunities.

However, both Hamilton and Russell struggled for pace in Friday's cold and damp practice sessions.

Hamilton ended the afternoon session in sixth place, more than 1.3 seconds behind the pace-setting Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Team-mate Russell was two places further back, a further two tenths adrift.

Reflecting on their running, Hamilton said that Mercedes was "just not very quick" and was struggling for an answer as to why.

"We're going out and giving it everything we've got," he said. "It could be tyres, it could be tyre temps, it could be wing level. It could be a multitude of things.

"It doesn't feel disastrous out there. It's just we're a long way off. But we often find this on the Friday and things change a little bit more on Saturday. So I hope that that's the case."

Hamilton and Russell need no reminding about how quickly things can be turned around from difficult Fridays, with the pair having secured their great result in Budapest after a troubled opening day.

It was that performance that has left both drivers still feeling as though something can be salvaged from the rest of the Belgian weekend.

George Russell, Mercedes W13

George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Russell said: "We're pretty used to having bad Fridays. So let's see if we can turn it around, but I don't think there will be any guarantees we can find the performance step that we found in the last race, let's say."

Hamilton added: "We're just going to work hard tonight to analyse the data, and try to figure out where we can get with this car.

"It doesn't feel the same as it did at the last track like in qualifying kind of time, but Friday and Saturday morning, it feels kind of similar to this now. So that gives me hope that we can turn it around."

Read Also:

Russell in particular felt that if Mercedes could better get its tyres in to the right operating window then a big chunk of performance could be found.

"I think it's something we're struggling with quite a lot this season, to get the temperature into the tyres," he explained. "I struggled quite a lot today with that on every compound we used. So in these conditions it is definitely something we need to work on.

"But it's something I know that you can find a huge amount of performance when you get in the right window. So there's a little bit of optimism there. But for sure, the gap to Max and the Ferraris is pretty extravagant."

shares
comments
Horner: Ricciardo not the same F1 driver he was with Red Bull
Previous article

Horner: Ricciardo not the same F1 driver he was with Red Bull

Next article

F1 Belgian GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

F1 Belgian GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022