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Singapore GP: Practice team notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
20/09/2019

Lewis ended the opening session in P3 with Valtteri in P4. In the evening, Lewis finished the session on top of the timesheets with Valtteri in P4.

Both drivers ran the Hard and the Soft tyres in FP1. In FP2, both Lewis and Valtteri used the Medium and the Soft compounds.

Lewis Hamilton: It's always a shock to the system when you first get in the car here in Singapore because it's very bumpy, it's a long lap and it's so hot out there - it's like a sauna in the car. But it's been a solid first day, we got through our run plan and continued to improve the car, so I'm really happy with it. I felt much better in the car today than I have for a while, so I hope I can keep that feeling over the weekend. They re-did a few bits of tarmac on the circuit and I managed to get the tyres working well. If you can get into a groove and into a rhythm here, it's such a beautiful lap, so I've really been enjoying it. But nothing's ever perfect and we definitely have some areas that we can still improve on. We've got off to a good start, but the Red Bulls looked very quick and we still have to put it all together tomorrow, which is not going to be easy.

Valtteri Bottas: It's been a tricky day. I had a bit of an off moment at the end of FP1, which ended my running a little early. I lost the back end in Turn 19 and at this track with no run-off you pay the price. In the late session, I was lacking pace on every run and on both compounds, so I'm not quite sure everything was right with the car. It just felt like I couldn't go any quicker, so we'll need to have a look at that. I felt friction in the steering system, so I struggled to feel the car properly. I think it's going to be close between three teams tomorrow, so we'll have to push, especially in Q3.

Andrew Shovlin: We've not always had an easy time at this track but it looks like the car is working pretty well here this year. Lewis has had a very solid day, the pace looked good on low and high fuel and he's been happy with the car from the first run. There is always time to find on a circuit like this as the better the balance, the more the driver can push to the limit but we have a good baseline to work from with him. Valtteri has not had an easy day, he got caught out by a rear snap going into Turn 19 on the second run that finished his first session and caused quite a lot of damage. The car was repaired in impressive time, but he wasn't really comfortable at any stage in the second session so we've got a bit of work to do, picking through the data and seeing if we can spot anything that might be causing a problem. We were called to the see the stewards for a fuel temperature breach in the first session. We'd manage to set this to the wrong target temperature but luckily it was only a practice session otherwise we'd have received more than a fine.

Check out our Friday gallery from Marina Bay, here.

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