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Abu Dhabi GP: Practice notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
24/11/2017

Lewis finished the morning session in P2 with Valtteri in P5. Lewis ended the day on top of the time sheets in P1 with Valtteri in P5. Valtteri ran the SuperSoft and UltraSoft compound tyres in FP1, Lewis the Softs and UltraSofts. In FP2, both drivers used the SuperSoft and UltraSoft compound tyres.

Lewis Hamilton: It's been a good Friday, but I'm happy that it's the last one of the season. We got lots of laps in today and made good progress with the balance of the car. We have a bit of work to do, but I feel like we're quite competitive here. It's relatively close still, but I like that. Especially for this weekend, I've got a helmet with gold leaf for the World Championship, which I'm really grateful for.

Valtteri Bottas: We dedicated the first practice session to testing for next year. We ran different kinds of mechanical and especially aero tests. So we didn't learn that much for this weekend in FP1, but definitely a lot for next year. The second session was more straightforward. I was missing a bit of time in the last sector, so as a team we need to work on that. The temperatures here are ok; it's definitely warm in the cockpit, but we've been to worse places. Overall, it's been a pretty good day, we just need to find some more pace from my side for tomorrow.

Andrew Shovlin: A busy day for the drivers and everyone in the garage. We had a large development programme focused on 2018, this required both cars to devote the entire P1 session towards this work but despite the ambitious programme, we managed to get through it all successfully. The track cools significantly into the evening session and our focus shifted towards qualifying and race preparation. The car seems to be working reasonably well although we've got plenty of areas we can look to improve overnight. Valtteri in particular was not comfortable with how the car was handling on a single lap so we have a bit of work to do there. Lewis found the car more predictable on low fuel but there are still some areas that we can find a bit of time. The long run balance was quite consistent but it's difficult to know where everyone is as there seemed to be a lot of traffic out there today and many cars were struggling to string clear laps together. We are expecting another tough battle for pole tomorrow, having seen strong times posted by both Red Bull and Ferrari through the sessions, but we are determined to finish the season on a high and will make sure we give it our best shot.

Check out our Friday gallery from Yas Island, here.

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