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Russian GP: Practice notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
28/04/2017

Valtteri ended the morning session in P2 with Lewis P3. Valtteri ended the day with the third fastest time in the afternoon session, with Lewis fourth quickest. Both drivers ran the Soft and SuperSoft compound tyre in FP1.

Valtteri Bottas: It's been an interesting day. It's a very different situation here with the asphalt and the temperatures compared to what we experienced in Bahrain. We were learning about the tyres on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap we still have work to do to get the maximum out of the UltraSoft tyre - that's our focus tonight. But we can't forget how important the race is. We have started the weekend in the right way. The car feels good and the balance is there. A good start but we definitely need to work hard to find some lap time for qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton: Bit of a difficult day for us. We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs, but in terms of the balance of the car, the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace. But there's still everything to play for. The tyres feel very peaky, so it's easy to drop out of the window of performance. But when they're working they seem to be good.

James Allison, Technical Director: We enjoyed plenty of useful running with both drivers having untroubled sessions - completing our planned programme. But it's pretty clear from both the long run pace and the set-up runs that we have got a bit of work to do to be on equal terms with Ferrari. As normal we will set about cutting that gap overnight and hopefully we will have a car that is able to get the job done on Saturday and Sunday. There are clear avenues that we need to work on to make sure we are properly competitive tomorrow. If we get that right it'll be close just as it has been all year.

Check out our Friday gallery from Sochi, here.

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