Monaco Grand Prix: Practice team notes - Mercedes


A solid first session saw both drivers use three tyre sets - including one set of Soft each - to finish P1 and P3 after the opening hour of practice.

The team took the decision to run the third tyre set in FP1 owing to a forecasted high probability of rain in FP2.

However, the predicted rain failed to materialise in the second session, meaning both drivers ran a new Medium and then the used Soft from FP1 - like Norris for McLaren, too.

Lewis set the second-fastest lap time, while George was afflicted by a steering vibration in both sessions which was costing time under braking. He finished P10.

Both drivers completed long runs on the Medium tyre, with a number of cars throughout the field suffering graining. George also evaluated a new front wing design during FP1 this morning.

Lewis Hamilton: It's been a good day, probably the best we've had so far this year, and the car is feeling very positive. This track is just amazing in an F1 car, and I've been enjoying my driving today - I was pleasantly surprised by the grip level and the way the car was responding, which made it a much more enjoyable ride than the last two years. In the second session, it felt a bit less comfortable, and we've got lots of work to do overnight to improve the long runs and the front graining. It was a feeling positive on the lower fuel, and we don't want to lose that, but our focus now is to improve on the long run.

George Russell: That was one of our best Fridays of the year, and the car is feeling the best I've ever had in Monaco. My session was limited by the steering vibration - as soon as I touched the brakes, the steering system was shaking, and on a track like this where you need confidence to attack, that really set me back. Every team is developing so quickly, and you can see how much faster the lap times are this year than last. The car is feeling good, and Lewis's times showed the performance that's in there, but Charles (Leclerc) is very quick, and we know as well how quickly things can change. I hope we will be fighting for the top five tomorrow.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director: Overall, we've had a pretty good day with both cars. FP1 was productive. We pulled forward the FP2 soft into that session as we expected rain although that never materialised and meant we were on used tyres for the low fuel soft in the afternoon. George was struggling with a vibration on braking - we need to get on top of that for tomorrow as it appeared to get worse during the course of the day and was very intrusive this afternoon. However, the underlying pace of the car seems good. Our long run needs some work as we've got to be a bit kinder on the front tyres on Sunday but we've got some options for that. We've also got to track the circuit as the grip comes up but it's encouraging that we seem to have a decent platform to work from.

Check out our Friday gallery from Monaco here.

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Published: 24/05/2024
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