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Formula One / 2023 Japanese Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on September 22, 2023, 12:50:54 PM »
George Russell

It feels great to back driving around Suzuka. It’s such an incredible circuit. It’s been a slightly strange Friday for us. The track seemed to have very low grip, particularly in FP1, so the car is sliding around quite a lot. That doesn’t give you the best feeling in the world as a driver. Particularly when you’ve got plenty of high-speed corners to tackle. The race on Sunday will also be interesting as tyre degradation looks very high.

In terms of the relative order, the Red Bull looks to have returned to its normal pace at the front. They have been exceptionally quick today. I think we are likely half-a-step behind the Ferraris and the McLaren of Lando Norris at present. We’ve got a bit of work to do tonight to close that gap. We are typically strong at finding those performance gains so we can be optimistic of improving for tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton

It was a very challenging day for us out there. I had a lack of confidence in the car and that contributed to our struggles. It was difficult to find the right balance and we didn’t manage to get on top of it by the end of FP2. The tyres were overheating and that left us quite far off the top of the timing sheets.

We know we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight to pick up the performance. I do believe we can make improvements though. We have had similar Friday’s this season and come back stronger on Saturday. We will see tomorrow if we have done so again. We will be putting in the effort this evening to give us every chance of getting ourselves higher up the order.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

We've certainly been on the back foot today. Both FP1 and FP2 proved tricky sessions for us. Both drivers reported struggling with an overall lack of grip and the balance of the car. We made some changes ahead of the second session and gained some useful learnings from that. However, we know we must make improvements overnight.

We are clearly not strong enough in the faster corners, with the first sector proving a particular weakness for us. That’s where the majority of our work will be focused this evening. George did find some improvement on the single lap in FP2, but we are facing the same challenges on both our qualifying pace and the long run. In a sense that is encouraging. If we can fix one, the other should improve too. However, we are not underestimating the work we’ve got to do to be stronger over the rest of the weekend.
Formula One / 2023 Japanese Grand Prix - Preview
« Last post by fasteddy on September 22, 2023, 12:48:50 PM »
Toto Talks Japan

It was a thrilling Sunday night in Singapore. Although the result wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, there are plenty of positives we can take away. We were bold and aggressive with our strategy calls. The pace of the car all weekend was strong. We executed well as a team and gave it a real shot for victory as the racers we are.

It was a great drive to the podium from Lewis. He showed impressive pace throughout the race, especially the final stint. P3 was a deserved reward for his efforts. For George, he’d performed faultlessly all weekend. He was giving it absolutely everything in the search for victory. That’s absolutely what we want to see. It was a small mistake on the final lap and that will make it even more painful for him. I know he will bounce back strongly.

We have another race in just a few days’ time. Japan is always a unique event with very passionate fans. The track is incredibly challenging, and the drivers love racing on it. The margins were so close in Singapore, so we’ll be aiming for another competitive showing in Suzuka.

We lost some ground in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari at the last race. We are looking forwards not back, though. Our focus is on maximising the package we have and scoring as many points as possible. If we do so, I’m confident we can extend our advantage.
Fact File: Japanese Grand Prix

    Suzuka holds the distinction of being the only circuit we race at that is laid out in a figure-of-eight configuration.
    After the Degner Curves, the circuit passes under the straight leading to 130R. Owing to this, it’s the only F1 track that runs both clockwise and anticlockwise.
    This figure-of-eight layout is beneficial for tyre wear. It creates a more even balance between left and right-hand corners (10 being right-handers and eight to the left), distributing load more equally between tyres.
    The first corner doesn’t require any braking on entry. In Qualifying, drivers don’t hit the brakes until the car is cornering at close to 5G.
    That helps to generate some of the highest steering wheel torques of the entire season.
    The vast majority of the first sector at Suzuka is spent cornering. From Turn 1 until the exit of Turn 7, the steering wheel is moving almost continuously for nearly 2km of the lap.
    Just 1.2 km of the lap is spent driving in a straight line. Most of the 5.807 kms sees some lateral g-force going through the car.
    The lack of straights also means that Suzuka is just one of four circuits on the calendar that has a solitary DRS zone.
    130R is one of F1’s quickest corners, taken at 295 km/h. Turn 11 meanwhile is one of the slowest at 60 km/h.
    The braking zone for Turn 11 is particularly challenging. Drivers must hit the brakes midway through the fast Turn 10. They are cornering at close to 3.5G while turning right before the hairpin left. Lockups are therefore common.
    In contrast to Singapore, brakes have a slightly easier time at Suzuka. There are only two heavy braking events on the track. Brake duty and wear are therefore among the lowest we see across the year.
    Suzuka has one of the highest mass sensitivities of the season. That means that carrying more fuel is more penalising in terms of lap time and performance.
Formula One / 2023 Singapore Grand Prix - Sunday
« Last post by fasteddy on September 18, 2023, 04:54:15 PM »
Lewis Hamilton

We rolled the dice this weekend and went with an offset tyre strategy. I felt like the race was a two-stop today and the team did an amazing job to get us back up there. Having to give back the two positions from the first corner was a shame, but I kept my head down and kept pushing. Overall this weekend, I haven’t felt fully comfortable with the car. Today it was in a better place though. If I had had that same feeling yesterday, I think I could have been fighting for the front-row. That may have changed my race today, but I’m still pleased to get on the podium.

It was extremely unfortunate what happened to George. We were pushing so hard to catch the guys ahead and our tyres were so hot. He’s been phenomenal all weekend and I know he will bounce back. We’re now looking forward to Japan so let’s see what we can do there.
George Russell

I am lost for words. I think we were half a car’s length away from winning the race today. If I was able to pass Lando (Norris), I am sure I would have been able to overtake Carlos (Sainz). Unfortunately I missed that opportunity. I made a mistake by one or two centimetres on that last lap, and I clipped the wall. It’s a mistake that has overshadowed my whole weekend. Up to that point, it had been a fantastic race weekend. The car felt great, and the team had done an incredible job. Our strategy was superb, and we were bold and aggressive. It was exciting out there and it’s heart-breaking to be standing here with zero points. Nevertheless, there are positives to take away. I will likely have a bad night tonight and even tomorrow morning. But I will put this behind me and come back stronger next weekend in Japan.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

Lewis had a brilliant race, and he did a super job to get on the podium. It was of course a shame for George at the end. It was one very small error after a strong weekend but that’s racing – he got it 99.99% right today. It was clear that it was going to be difficult to win the race if we followed everyone else’s strategy. We were aggressive and took the opportunity to put on the Medium tyre under the Virtual Safety Car. The data was robust, and we went for it. At the end, to get on the podium was great and we were very close to making it so much more than that. Overall, it feels that we are continuing to make progress with the W14. We’ve had a really quick car all weekend, so let’s see how we go in Suzuka. Bring it on.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

We had fun racing today. There were some brave decisions taken by the strategy team and the car was working well. It was a good reminder for the entire team of how enjoyable it is to be fighting at the front of a race. George couldn’t have got to the garage sooner to apologise for the mistake; it’s a shame not to take those points but we’re a team and we’ll always work through the highs and lows together. What we can say is that our fight with Ferrari for second in the championship is going to get exciting now. We’ve got a bit of margin on points but ultimately, it’s going to come down to who’s got the best car over the next seven races. This weekend will give the whole team even more motivation and energy to get back to fighting at the front week in, week out. We will take a number of positives from here as we go into Japan.
Formula One / 2023 Singapore Grand Prix - Saturday
« Last post by fasteddy on September 18, 2023, 04:48:09 PM »
George Russell

I've been really happy with this weekend as a whole. I've felt confident in the car and the team did a great job with the tyre strategy. We are on an offset strategy compared to everybody else, so we have an extra set of Medium tyres tomorrow which nobody around us has. So, to get to Q3, and then the front row, with just four sets of tyres and a strategic advantage, that's an exciting place to be. It was a challenging session in the car - sitting in the garage, it's like being in a sauna, and you just need to keep your composure and stay cool. The same will be true tomorrow: traditionally this has been a one-stop race, but the new circuit layout has possibly changed that. I think it's going to be close between a one- and a two-stop, and with that extra Medium tyre available, we can put pressure on Ferrari and try and force an error to get the upper hand. That's what we're looking for.
Lewis Hamilton

The car was feeling incredible yesterday and we had hoped that with some tweaks, we'd be able to challenge the Ferraris. We made some pretty big changes overnight, and it just came away from me again, and we didn't have the speed today. It's obviously disappointing, especially because we clearly had a great package here and George was able to get on the front row. But tomorrow is a new day - and there is a lot to fight for. I hope George gets a great start tomorrow and puts some pressure on Ferraris; it would be great for him to get the win. On my side, I will be pushing to the maximum to go forward and see how the race unfolds in front.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

I think we outperformed ourselves today. Singapore is a Ferrari track - they were strong here last year, too - so to get within a tenth of pole with George is fantastic. Lewis struggled more with the car, but we still have two cars in the top five, and that promises an exciting race tomorrow. As for our expectations in the race, we have got to stay humble and do the work tonight. I hope it's not going to be an easy, one-stop, cruise into the sunset - and we have a potential advantage with the second Medium tyre that none of the other teams have. So I think everything is possible - and the weather may a part - it's going to be an exciting evening tomorrow!
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

A great lap by George to get on the front row and split the Ferraris.  That's certainly helped his chances tomorrow as their ability to control the race is a lot less if we can get between them.  Lewis wasn't as happy with the car through the sessions and struggling to get the tyres to switch on; some of that was when the outlaps were compromised with traffic but even on the final run he didn't feel that the grip was there.  We made a decision in the morning to keep two mediums for the race tomorrow but that meant we only had four softs in qualifying.  There were times during qualifying where it felt like we might have regretted that decision as field was much tighter than we expected but at least we got both through to the final session and importantly it's opened up some unique options for us on the strategy and how we deal with safety cars.  We looked to be competitive in the long runs on Friday and with both cars well placed on the grid we're looking forward to the race tomorrow.
Formula One / 2023 Singapore Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on September 18, 2023, 04:39:37 PM »
George Russell

It was a very positive Friday for us overall. The car is feeling really good around the circuit. It definitely improved in the cooler temperatures of FP2 but equally, it still felt decent in the slightly unrepresentative conditions of FP1. The times were very tight between several cars. Ferrari looked quick, particularly on the single lap. The long run performance across a number of competitors was also strong but we can be optimistic heading into the weekend. We will do our usual work overnight and hopefully find some improvements heading into Saturday. I am really enjoying the new track layout. It makes the final sector, and the lap as a whole, much more flowing. It definitely improves the experience behind-the-wheel and should help create better racing on Sunday. The new track surface in turns one to five is also an improvement.
Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a great day here in Singapore. They have done an amazing job with the track changes; I love driving this circuit now more than ever. The new track surface is great, and it made the track even more enjoyable to drive. Then the removal of the four corners near the end of the lap has absolutely perfected the circuit. It’s incredible to drive. In terms of our day overall, FP1 was solid. We were still a little bit of where we wanted to be, but it wasn’t too bad. FP2 was for sure the best FP2 session I’ve had this year. It was nice to finish a Friday feeling so positive. I think we’ve got a good platform to build off for the rest of the weekend. It’s the best I’ve felt from a Friday this year, so I hope we can do some good work overnight, as we always tend to do, and continue to improve.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

We’ve had solid sessions today and both drivers have finished the day happy with the balance. There’s a bit of work we need to do to understand how to approach the single lap on the Soft tyre; it didn’t feel like we were getting the most out of the compound and George was able to improve later in the run. The long run was quite strong. It’s always tough keeping the heat out of the rear tyres here but we look to be more or less on the pace. The performance order is interesting today. Ferrari looked fast, as do McLaren and Aston Martin and unusually Red Bull didn’t look like the ones to beat. We’ll assume that they’ll sort that out for tomorrow, which is going to mean that a lot of drivers are fighting for the top grid spots. It’s clearly very close so we’ll be pushing to find every little bit of pace overnight. We’re looking forward to an exciting qualifying session tomorrow.
Formula One / 2023 Singapore Grand Prix - Preview
« Last post by fasteddy on September 12, 2023, 11:09:14 AM »
Toto Talks Singapore

We maximised the result in Monza with the package we had. That will be important across the rest of the season to secure second in the Constructors'. At a circuit that didn't necessarily suit the characteristics of our car, we were still competitive. It's encouraging to see that the W14 is performing well across a range of tracks. We've had some time to debrief an intense double header and we're now heading into another one.

Singapore is a unique challenge for every team. The hot and humid conditions are tough on the drivers, team members and the cars. It's a bumpy track and there are some changes to the layout for this year, too. It should make the lap more flowing and slightly kinder on the tyres.

The battle with our nearest competitors is incredibly close. It's hard to predict just how the order will shake out each weekend. Nonetheless, we typically perform better on high downforce tracks, so we're hopeful of a competitive showing.
Fact File: Singapore Grand Prix

    This year's Singapore Grand Prix will feature a new layout as redevelopment works take place in the vicinity of the track.
    The circuit between what was Turns 16 to 19 will now become one long 397.9m straight, reducing the number of corners from 23 down to 19.
    The circuit length has therefore reduced from 5.063 km to 4.928 km and the number of laps of the Grand Prix increased from 61 to 62.
    Lap times are expected to be reduced by roughly 10 seconds due to the changes.
    The new layout will likely be beneficial for the tyres; previously, they would begin to overheat towards the end of the lap, but the removal of four 90-degree corners should help them stay closer to the optimum operating window.
    Track evolution is incredibly high in Singapore, given that it is a street circuit. The surface can ramp up by as much as three seconds between FP1 on Friday and Qualifying on Saturday evening.
    The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most physically demanding races of the season. The intense humidity, warm temperatures, combined with the stop/start nature of the track, make it very challenging.
    Due to these factors, drivers can lose around 3kg of weight during the race through sweating alone.
    That stop/start nature, with a requirement for constant re-acceleration, ensures the circuit has the biggest fuel effect of the year. In simple terms, that means the amount of time you lose each lap is higher for every kilogram of extra fuel in the car.
    Owing to the large amount of time spent in corners, just 50% of lap time is spent at full throttle.
    That is one of the lowest percentages of the season, with only Monaco, the Hungaroring, and the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico with lower amounts.
    The Marina Bay Street Circuit has the largest number of heavy braking events of any circuit we visit at four.
    The lack of long straights and short distance between turns also puts less air through the brakes. Cooling is therefore a big focus for the team.
    The track is also very bumpy. That adds to the stress that the drivers and cars are put through - that is particularly true with these new generation cars that run lower to the ground.
    The circuit also impacts the tyres as the surface temperatures can never properly cool down. The tarmac is also aggressive on the tyres, increasing wear and degradation.
    With a speed limit of 60 km/h, and a layout that feeds in at turn two, the total pit lane time is the highest of the season at 25 seconds.
    Owing to the layout changes, the number of gear changes per lap has dropped to 64. It was previously the circuit with the highest amount of gear changes but now ranks fourth overall.
    Given the nature of a street track, it is perhaps no surprise that all 13 of the previous Singapore Grands Prix have featured at least one Safety Car deployment.
    In the last five editions, we have seen 10 Safety Car deployments.
Formula One / Mercedes Extends Driver Line-Up Through 2025
« Last post by fasteddy on August 31, 2023, 02:13:01 PM »
The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team is delighted to announce that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will continue to lead its driver line-up for the next two seasons. The duo has been paired together since the start of the 2022 season and each driver continues long-standing relationships with the team.

Lewis will drive for the Team in the 2024 and 2025 seasons and continue an historic relationship that has secured six World Drivers’ Championships and eight World Constructors’ Championships. Since joining the works team, Lewis has taken 82 victories and 78 pole positions en route to becoming the most successful driver in the sport’s history. The extension ensures the continuation of the most successful team and driver pairing in Formula One history into at least a 13th year.

George has extended a relationship that first began in 2017 until the end of the 2025 season. The then 18-year-old joined the team’s Junior programme before rising through the ranks to F1. After starring at Williams, he was promoted to partner Lewis Hamilton in 2022 and claimed his maiden Grand Prix victory in last year’s São Paulo Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton commented:

“We dream everyday of being the best and we have dedicated the past decade together to achieving that goal. Being at the top does not happen overnight or over a short period of time, it takes commitment, hard work and dedication and it’s been an honour to earn our way into the history books with this incredible team.

"We have never been hungrier to win. We have learnt from every success but also every setback. We continue to chase our dreams, we continue to fight no matter the challenge and we will win again. I’m grateful to the team who have supported me both on and off the track. Our story isn’t finished, we are determined to achieve more together and we won’t stop until we do."
George Russell commented:

“I have grown up with this team ever since joining as part of the Junior programme back in 2017. It’s my home and it feels fantastic to extend our special relationship through 2025.

“After stepping up to the Mercedes race seat last year, I wanted to reward the trust and belief that Toto and the rest of the team placed in me. Taking my first pole position and race win last year was an unforgettable feeling. More importantly though, it’s been great to work with everybody at Brackley and Brixworth to make progress with our car and push forward our development. Their loyalty, vision and hard work is inspiring.

“We have made some significant steps over the last 18 months and are only getting stronger as a team. I’m excited to help continue to build on that momentum as we progress into 2024 and 2025 as we continue to focus on returning to the very front of the pack.”
Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal, continued:

“Continuing with our current driver line-up was a straightforward decision. We have the strongest pairing on the grid and both drivers are playing a crucial role in the team to move us forward. The strength and stability they provide will be key building blocks for our future success.

“Our partnership with Lewis is one of the most successful in the sport’s history. It was always a formality that we would continue together – and it’s energising for us all to be confirming that publicly. His qualities as a pure racing driver are illustrated by his remarkable track record; but over our years together, he has grown to become a pillar and leader of our team. Those leadership qualities are crucial as we focus on fighting for world championships again. As F1’s biggest global star, he has also played a key role in shaping our commitments to diversity, inclusion and sustainability, that will be foundations for our success in the years ahead.

”George is a leading light of his generation. He has repaid the faith we showed in him when promoting him to a race seat in 2022. His maiden pole position in Hungary and first Grand Prix victory in São Paulo were standout moments last season. As a driver, he combines razor-sharp speed with the tenacity of a true fighter. But he brings, too, an intelligence and attention to detail that will help him to continue to grow, develop and improve further. He is a natural fit to the team and we are delighted to have extended the relationship for the coming years.”
Markus Schäfer, Non-Executive Chairman & Mercedes-Benz AG CTO, added:

“Lewis has forged a relationship with Mercedes-Benz right from the start of his career. In that time, he has claimed seven World Drivers’ Championships, 103 race wins, 195 podium finishes and 104 pole positions. His ambition and commitment to winning are second to none. His boundless positivity and passion to push himself and team forward are a constant source of pride and inspiration for everyone connected to the team and the wider Mercedes-Benz group.

“George has also been an integral member of the Mercedes-Benz family since 2017. After joining the team’s Junior programme, he has continued to grow and excel year after year. Watching him take his first Grand Prix victory was an incredible moment and demonstrated his immense talent. The strong relationship George and Lewis have has been excellent and provides a solid platform for the Team.

“We are excited to continue this journey with both drivers and look forward to sharing more success in the future. I know the whole team is motivated for the rest of the season and continuing to build momentum into 2024 and beyond.”
Formula One / 2023 Dutch Grand Prix - Sunday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 28, 2023, 02:59:18 PM »
Lewis Hamilton

I didn’t really know how today was going to go – last night, I was wracking my brain about where we went wrong in qualifying and how we ended up P13, and how to climb back up. I wanted to start the race on an offset tyre compound, but then it turned out I was the only one in the field on a different tyre – and then the rain came. As a team, we made the wrong decision and paid the price, coming out last. After that, I just got my head down and I was chasing; it was a great example that when you fall or stumble, just get back up and keep trying. Each time I pitted, I came out behind, and kept chasing and chasing. I was really happy – I passed the McLaren, for example, which isn’t easy at this track. And then at the end, I just needed DRS to pass Sainz, because I was quicker but didn’t have the speed on the straight to do it. But overall, it’s a feeling of what could have been: if we’d made different calls, we had the pace to challenge the top two. We weren’t far off in the dry – and it would have been good to be in that fight.
George Russell

That was a tough one today – I went into the race expecting to fight for a podium and I ended up P17. We were expecting the rain to stay for just a few minutes, and it ended up being close to ten. It was ready for inters but I thought I could brave it out for another lap or two if it was only going to be short – but that’s not what happened. We’d rather have a fast car and a bad day than the opposite, but it was a missed opportunity today. At the end, I was side by side with Lando into the chicane at the end of the lap, then we had contact. It cost a few points and it was a shame because we had such a fast car today, then our decisions on the weather went against us. But there are still positives to take away from the base pace we showed. We knew this circuit could be strong for us – and looking to Monza, it’s a totally different beast. We will clear our heads, go in with some new ideas and the learnings from this weekend, and see what we can do.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

That was a difficult day for us. In the opening 15 laps, we got pretty much everything wrong that we could have done – and that cost us any chance of fighting for the podium. For the next 50 laps until the red flag, it was pretty much business as usual: the car was quick on every tyre compound, we made the right calls and the drivers did a great recovery to P6 and P8. In the final laps, George was unlucky to fall to the back after contact, while Lewis tried everything he could on Sainz but there was no way past. In the end, I’d rather we have a quick car and a bad result, than the other way round. It was an entertaining race for Formula One – and the kind of day when we should have been part of the action at the front. But if, but and maybe don’t count for anything in this sport. Now, we need to regroup, understand why we as a team got things wrong today, and go again in Monza next weekend.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

Not a good day for us. We didn’t anticipate how heavy the early shower was going to be which meant we’d dropped both cars to the back from the very early stages. The decisions we took after that, however, were good, and we managed to get both cars back into a reasonable position when the race got red flagged. Unfortunately, Lewis couldn’t find a way past Sainz in the short intermediate stint at the end and George picked up a puncture fighting Norris, so we leave here with just eight points, making it our worst points score of the season. However, we can take encouragement from the fact the car has been good this weekend. Although we’ve struggled in certain conditions, the pace in the race was strong and we’re going in the right direction.  We’re very happy that we’ll get to hit the track again in five days’ time as we will be wanting to put this result behind us.
Formula One / 2023 Dutch Grand Prix - Saturday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 28, 2023, 02:56:35 PM »
George Russell

That was a great session and I’m happy to be in P3. Qualifying was a strength earlier in the season, but it’s been going a bit wrong for me recently, so it was good to get the break, come with some fresh ideas and put ourselves in a good place to fight for the podium tomorrow. The final lap was pretty okay – we know that we struggle to get temperature into the tyres when it’s wet or the crossover to slicks, but that also turns into a strength on Sunday. I’m sure Max will enjoy his usual Sunday drive tomorrow, but from P3 hopefully we can have a good fight with Lando, Alex and the rest.
Lewis Hamilton

It wasn’t my day today. Since FP1, I’ve lost some confidence in the car and that made qualifying tricky. It was tough to get the tyres into the working window, I struggled with the balance and overall grip, and George also did a few different settings that seemed to work better. But we know that the car operates in a narrow window, and these things can happen when you are in that situation. On the final run, I did two consecutive laps and the tyres overheated on the second one, so I couldn’t improve the time. Tomorrow is a new challenge; hopefully the car will be a bit better on full tanks, and we can make some forward progress. This isn’t an easy circuit for doing that – but that will be the goal.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

It was a challenging session, as we know our car is not the strongest when it comes to warming up the tyres in the wet and on the drying track. That means we need to put all the details together and that was hard today. George got the maximum from it to take a second row, so I hope he will be racing for the podium tomorrow. For Lewis, it seemed like he was impeded on every timed lap – including his quickest one – but he also didn’t have full confidence in the car today. We will analyse why – but we know as well that we can race stronger than the cars around him, so I hope to see him move forward tomorrow. So, a day of mixed fortunes; but we can take positives from P3 and build from there.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

We’re pleased with the P3 start position for George and naturally disappointed we couldn’t get Lewis further up. We were struggling for temperature on intermediate tyres in the morning session, George managed to get on top of this, but Lewis was not particularly happy with his balance and finding it hard to build heat in the tyres. Those trends continued into qualifying although Lewis was particularly unfortunate with the number of cars blocking him on fast laps; ultimately it was the lack of a clear lap that prevented him making the final session. We’re expecting conditions to improve for tomorrow; our long run pace looked reasonable on Friday so hopefully we can move forward with both drivers.
Formula One / 2023 Dutch Grand Prix - Friday
« Last post by fasteddy on August 25, 2023, 09:56:03 AM »
Lewis Hamilton

That was a great day for me. I woke up this morning so excited to get back in the car, and from the first lap it felt like we had a good starting point to work from. The first practice session was generally good; we made some changes for FP2, and I’m not sure if we progressed or not from them, so we will deep dive tonight to investigate. Overall, the car is feeling more competitive here, so we want to hold onto that and see if we can extract more for tomorrow.
George Russell

It felt good to be back in the car after several weeks out of the cockpit. Overall, it’s feeling good out there: the race pace was looking strong, and there is plenty of potential in there for qualifying as well, even if it didn’t quite show in the headline times for me today. Definitely this was one of our better Fridays and I’m optimistic for the rest of the weekend.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

We’re all really excited to get back to racing after the break. We’ve been able to bring a few updates to this race which will hopefully help nudge us in the right direction; certainly, the car seems be working reasonably well. We had quite a few test items in the first session which meant we were running new tyres a bit later than normal, as a result the red flag was quite inconvenient to us as we were trying to use new tyres when most of the field was on race runs. The second session was quite clean, the medium tyre was working well but we’ve got room for improvement on the soft, neither driver felt that they got the best from it so that’s something for us to work on overnight. The long runs were okay, we need to find a bit of consistency but the pace looks to be there and the balance is reasonable. Overall, an encouraging day.
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