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Hungary GP Practice team notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
27/07/2018

Lewis finished the morning session in P5 followed by Valtteri in P6. In the afternoon session, the positions remained unchanged with Lewis in P5 and Valtteri in P6. The team focused on understanding tyre performance and finding the optimum cooling level for the high temperatures in Budapest.

Lewis Hamilton: It has been a relatively normal day. As we expected, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls were quite quick and had a little bit more pace than us, so we've got some work to do tonight. This is a tricky circuit and the tyres are overheating; looking after the rear tyres is the biggest issue. The temperatures today and the layout of the track - corner after corner after corner - made it really tricky for the tyres as there's no time for them to cool down. We will do our debrief now and dig deep to try and figure out what changes we make between now and tomorrow. I hope we're able to find something tonight and that tomorrow is dry so we can test whatever changes we make overnight.

Valtteri Bottas: Today was not an easy day; the car was difficult to drive and I struggled to get laps together, especially in FP1. We managed to improve the set-up for FP2, but there's still more work to do. This is a difficult circuit, you need to have a well-balanced car in order to get all the corners right and we need to get the car more stable. The wind direction is forecast to change for tomorrow, so we need to count that in as well. We struggled to get the UltraSoft compound tyres working consistently and had some issues with overheating. It is difficult to overtake here, so track position is very important and the less stops you can do is always going to be better. Red Bull and Ferrari are as quick as we expected; I think it's going to be very close.

James Allison: It's not as dusty or bumpy as it was in years gone by, but Budapest always presents a real challenge to the car and driver - searing heat and an asphalt that is not easy on the tyres. Although we managed to improve the car across the sessions, especially with Valtteri, there's more to be done ahead of tomorrow if we want to come home from this weekend with a good result. So we are busy working this evening to try to make sure that we can get the car in good shape for Qualifying on a track where it is notoriously difficult to overtake, while making sure that we have decent long run pace on Sunday when it's expected to be very hot indeed.

Check out our Friday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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