Italian GP: Practice team notes - Mercedes


The day began with all teams assembling in the pit lane ahead of FP1 to observe a minute of silence in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was also marked at the Team's UK base.

Positive track running in FP1 saw George finish P3 and Lewis P4 as the W13 showed strong early pace. Lewis is utilising PU#4 here in Monza and will be taking a mandatory grid penalty on Sunday as a consequence, with his practice programme designed accordingly to target race pace. George managed P5 and Lewis P7 in FP2 with both drivers feeling less comfortable with the setup and balance than in the early session.

George Russell: Bit of a strange day, FP1 was looking pretty strong but then Ferrari and Red Bull seemed to take a step forward in FP2 and we went a little backwards so we have work to do tonight to understand that. Generally speaking, we're lacking a little electrical deployment here, we're similar to Red Bull but Ferrari seem to have the upper hand on deployment which might be tricky in a race scenario. If you nail the tow around here in qualifying, it will definitely make a difference but it's high-risk-high-reward so not something we're putting a lot of emphasis on. Qualifying sessions are where you learn the most about the car and the tyres, and they've been the sessions we've struggled most with this year, so I think we'll both be going out tomorrow like any other quali day and trying to nail the basics.

Lewis Hamilton: We made some setup changes in between FP1 and FP2 and went a lot slower, or the other guys went a lot quicker - we just didn't feel as fast in the later session. I know George had some deployment issues here but my car didn't seem to be affected. It's George's turn to choose who goes first or second tomorrow so I assume I'll go first and naturally I'll provide him with a bit of a tow.

Andrew Shovlin: The first session went well and we seemed to have the car in a good place for both single lap and long run balance. The second session was more difficult with both drivers suffering from a lack of rear grip. In terms of pace, it looks like our competitors found more between the sessions than we did so we need to look through that in detail to understand where we have lost out. We'd expected this weekend to be tough as the car is very similar to the one that we had in Spa and with Lewis's power unit penalty, we've got a lot of ground to make up in the race before we can get him into the points. However, the goal remains to score well with both drivers and the fact that we had the car in a good place in the first session gives us some encouragement that we can get it back in that window.

Check out our Friday gallery from Monza here.

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Published: 09/09/2022
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