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Monaco GP: Practice notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
24/05/2018

Lewis finished the morning session in P3 with Valtteri in P7. In the afternoon, Lewis came home in P4 with Valtteri in P6.

Lewis Hamilton: It's been an okay day, we didn't suffer any damage which is a good thing. I said yesterday the Red Bulls were going to be quick which they were today. As expected, we struggled a little bit more. The car felt good in some places, in others it felt bad. So we have got some things to work on, but we're not completely in the dark; we're in a much better place than we were last year. We're closer to Red Bull and Ferrari than I expected, but we're still a few tenths off. So we've got some ground to cover and pick up if we want to be in the fight for the win. We've got to keep working on the set-up and try and see if we can pull out some more potential from the car. The HyperSoft felt good, but it doesn't last very long. It looks good for qualifying but could be interesting in the race.

Valtteri Bottas: As we expected it was quite difficult today. We thought that Red Bull and Ferrari were going to be quick here and they were. The car didn't feel great in FP1 and we struggled a bit on the HyperSoft tyres. In FP2, we got it to work better. The gaps between the three teams are not too big though, which is good. We know our car has a lot of pace, but it is difficult to find the right set-up for this track. If we can find a good set-up and get some good laps in for qualifying, we should be able to fight for the pole, but I think it will be the most challenging qualifying session we've had this year. I'm very proud to be driving with my special Mika Häkkinen helmet in Monaco this weekend. Mika has proven in the past that the helmet design and a Silver Arrow are a good combination, so hopefully I will be able to get a good result as well.

Andrew Shovlin: We've had pretty good sessions today with both cars. It's never easy in Monaco as the track is so short it's near impossible to put together more than two or three clear laps but both drivers have a good feel for the car and we have identified a few areas where we need to improve the balance. It's our first proper experience of the HyperSoft tyre which is giving good grip on single laps; however needs a bit of looking after on the longer run. In terms of pace it's difficult to know where we stand today, it does feel like Red Bull are the ones to watch in qualifying but we're in much better shape than we were this time last year and we've certainly got a car that is behaving more normally. The track is going to evolve a lot over the next couple of days and it can have a big impact on the balance of the car and how the tyres are working. As such, it's never easy to know how much to change for the final practice session but if we can improve a few issues in certain corners we should be in decent shape for qualifying and the race and be in a position to put some pressure on the others.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monaco, here.

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