Mercedes F1 team "in the dark" as Hamilton struggles for pace in F1 Styrian GP practice

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says the team is "in the dark" after Lewis Hamilton struggled with an "all over the place" car in Styrian Grand Prix second practice

Mercedes F1 team "in the dark" as Hamilton struggles for pace in F1 Styrian GP practice

Hamilton finished the session in sixth position, over 0.6 seconds slower than his team-mate and Austrian GP winner Valtteri Bottas, who was just edged out of top spot by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The session was approached differently by teams because rain is expected to wash out Saturday's action and, if qualifying can't then be held on Sunday morning, the grid will revert to FP2.

Wolff said the team hadn't gone for the full qualifying mode with its power unit, but turned the engine up more than it normally would on a Friday.

"We discussed it for a long time, but in the end we went into the session a bit half pregnant," Wolff told Austrian broadcaster ORF. "Not using the full power, but also not cruising very slowly.

"It wasn't full attack, but it wasn't half attack either - we already added a little bit more.

"Let's say, we drove on a performance level that we normally don't drive on Friday.

"We are a bit in the dark, especially with Lewis' time. There's a problem with the car.

"At the moment we don't know. The car is just all over the place in the slow and medium fast corners.

"But we have data channels for everything, and you have to take your time to look at that."

Asked what the team had up its sleeve for qualifying, Wolff said: "Not so much anymore. Compared to last week, Verstappen has improved, and especially the Racing Points have really improved.

"Everyone else is slower, just like us. But there is a lot of thinking and data to collect to see where the performance is."

Hamilton said he had no explanation for his struggles in the afternoon session.

"That I don't know, I can't really say anything," said the world champion.

"It felt relatively normal, but it was quite far off, so there's a lot of work that needs to go on in the background to try and figure out why.

"I was feeling good in practice one and the start of P2 felt pretty good, and then it just started to drop off.

"Others out there are quick, and Valtteri's obviously got good pace.

"Hopefully tomorrow it will be a bit better."

Regarding FP2 potentially forming the grid in the event of a qualifying washout, Hamilton said: "It will suck if we don't get to qualify, because it wasn't great, I'll be starting further back than even last week, so it will definitely make it challenging.

"I'm trying to do the dry dance, if there's a dry dance to make sure there's no frigging rain for Sunday."

shares
comments
Lando Norris limited FP2 running at Styrian GP due to back pain
Previous article

Lando Norris limited FP2 running at Styrian GP due to back pain

Next article

Ricciardo: I'm not sure what went wrong in F1 Styrian GP practice crash

Ricciardo: I'm not sure what went wrong in F1 Styrian GP practice crash
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022