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British GP: Practice team notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
07/07/2023

The sun was shining on Friday at Silverstone as track action ahead of the British Grand Prix began.

In FP1, the Team ran an off-set tyre strategy to others, foregoing use of the Soft compound. Running on the Medium and Hard tyres only, Lewis finished the session P12 with George P14.

In the late afternoon, and with ambient temperatures in the high 20C's, focus switched to the Soft compound tyre. George ended the session P12 with Lewis P15, with work clearly to do on single lap pace. However, the long run pace looked more promising as the chequered flag flew and drew the day to a close.

The Team will be hard at work over Friday night, both at track and in the simulator, to unlock more pace ahead of a Saturday that currently has a mixed weather forecast.

George Russell: Today definitely wasn't our finest Friday. In FP1, our pace on the Medium tyre was looking reasonable and we thought we'd be able to make a good step on the Soft tyre. However in FP2, we struggled. We've seen a small trend that when temperatures are hotter, we tend to take a step backwards. We also made quite a few changes between sessions, but we possibly didn't compensate enough for the conditions. It was a difficult afternoon for sure, but we will dig into the data with the Team tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow.

Despite the difficulties, I've still got half a smile on my face driving here in front of all the British fans. They are giving me and the Team the energy to come back stronger tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton: It was very windy out there, as it often is here at Silverstone. I think that's something that helps it become the best track in the world. It definitely made the car more inconsistent though, but we're also battling the same challenges that we have been for the majority of the season. It's a tough car to drive and it continues to be so. On the single lap, we didn't seem to make any improvement between tyres which suggests we're missing something. The positive for us is that the long run pace wasn't too bad.

The balance is tricky, but we will work on in tonight. We will also have Mick in the simulator so hopefully we can come up with some solutions for tomorrow. We're not in the same race as the Red Bulls but I'm hoping we can fight for the podium, even though it will take a big push. The fans have been phenomenal since yesterday already and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director: Today, it looked like we had a race car that could fight for a podium, with a qualifying car that would struggle to threaten the top-10. Clearly, we've got lots of work to do to understand why that is. We've got some investigations ongoing, but we'd like to check through more data to test our theories; we've also got Mick in the simulator overnight which will be a big help.

The positive from today is that our low fuel performance on the Medium and Hard tyre was good. Our long run pace also looked strong. It was also encouraging that our updates seem to be behaving as expected. The list of things to fix is therefore not long, but it's a very important one with regards to qualifying tomorrow. There is plenty of work ahead, but we've got lots of ideas and hopefully we'll make good progress.

Check out our Friday gallery from Silverstone here.

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