Mercedes drivers took the lead in the extended second free practice session in Montreal after the first practice had to be abandoned due to CCTV issues.
Their impressive performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, following the upgrades introduced at the Spanish GP, has sparked hopes of a strong challenge this weekend.
However, both drivers believe that their late low-fuel runs during the FP2 session may have exaggerated their performance compared to their main rivals.
Hamilton commented, “The car didn’t feel bad, but there is definitely room for improvement. It wasn’t the best, but far from the worst. So, it’s feeling quite good, despite the bumps on the track. I think everyone is struggling with them. We need to enhance our ride control and balance through the corners. I believe we’ll be fine.”
Russell explained that while they topped the timesheets, it’s uncertain how Mercedes truly compares to their competitors.
“I don’t think we should read too much into the timings. We conducted our low-fuel qualifying preparation when the track was faster towards the end of the session,” said George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14 driver.
“However, I do think the upgrades we introduced in Barcelona have mitigated some of the limitations we would have faced with the previous car specification. We still need to determine our actual performance level. I believe we’re still slightly behind in qualifying pace compared to Ferrari and Aston Martin. Valtteri [Bottas] looked fast, and maybe Alpine as well.”
“But we always know that we perform well on Sundays, so that’s when it really counts. The forecast suggests rain tomorrow. Let’s wait and see,” Russell added.
With the new upgrade package being used by Mercedes for the third race, Hamilton remains optimistic about the progress made.
When asked about the difference on the track, he stated, “I can only compare it to last year, and it’s a significant improvement over last year. The rear end still needs some work, but overall, the car has taken a step forward. I can definitely feel the improvements we experienced in Monaco.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Mercedes drivers
What was the performance of the Mercedes drivers in the Canada F1 practice sessions?
The Mercedes drivers led the way in the extended second free practice session in Montreal, following the abandonment of the first practice due to CCTV problems.
Did the Mercedes drivers believe their performance accurately reflected their true potential?
Both drivers felt that their late low-fuel runs during the FP2 session may have flattered their performance compared to the main opposition.
How did Lewis Hamilton assess the car’s performance?
Hamilton mentioned that while the car didn’t feel bad, there is still work to be done. He emphasized the need to improve ride control, balance through corners, and address the challenge of bumpy tracks.
What did George Russell say about the team’s performance and upgrades?
Russell acknowledged that the timing results may not be indicative of the actual pace. He mentioned the positive impact of the upgrades introduced in Barcelona, which helped overcome certain limitations. However, he believed that Mercedes still trailed behind Ferrari and Aston Martin in terms of qualifying pace.
How did the drivers express their optimism?
Both drivers expressed confidence in Mercedes’ performance on Sundays, highlighting their historical strength. Additionally, they looked forward to the wet weather conditions forecasted for the next day, suggesting it could work in their favor.
How did Lewis Hamilton compare the current car to the previous year’s model?
Hamilton stated that the current car is a significant improvement over the previous year’s model. While there are still areas, particularly the rear end, that need attention, he felt the overall performance has taken a step forward.