Mercedes don’t appear to have worked out the issues they had on Friday for Saturday’s free practice session with Lewis Hamilton moaning on team radio once again. The Spanish Grand Prix was seen as an opportunity for Mercedes to gauge how their new upgrades were going to compare to their rivals.
But Hamilton was left far from impressed after Friday’s practice sessions, raising concerns on whether they will even finish inside the top 10 on Sunday. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin brushed off Hamilton’s concerns, promising improvements heading into Saturday.
It was difficult to read the order in the first session, because the extra prototype tyres meant everyone deviated from their normal run plans,” he said. “Our programme in FP1 was biased towards long run work on the new tyres and it does give us the data we need ahead of their full introduction at Silverstone.
The second session was more normal and the conclusions for us were quite familiar; single lap needs a bit of work and long run looks OK. We looked at two different wing levels, which is useful as we have a bit of data to study to understand the effects on tyres and overall pace.
We’ve got a good idea of what the limitations are in terms of balance and hopefully by the morning, we’ll have come up with a few solutions to those issues.” But it appeared to be the same issues for Hamilton at the start of the third and final practice session.
“Driveability is still not great,” Hamilton said on team radio. Despite the Brit’s worries, he did end up setting the third-fastest time before the session was red flagged by Logan Sargeant’s crash.