Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were pleasantly surprised by the speed of the Mercedes at Zandvoort. The seven-time world champion posted a second time and a third time after the end of today’s sessions in the Netherlands and was much closer to the leading positions compared to the previous weekend in Belgium.
The lag of the experienced Briton from the time of the leader Sainz after the end of the second free practice was only 79 thousand, which is practically a negligible difference.
Hamilton believes the Mercedes team is in a “comparatively better position.” The Briton is looking to improve his qualifying pace to give him a better chance for Sunday’s race.
“This was much better than my Sunday [на Спа] and it’s even better than last Friday,” Hamilton shared. “The start of the weekend was decent. We came across a track that is more favorable to the Mercedes car.”
:It was just two training sessions. We have to stay focused until the end of the race weekend if we want to be successful.”
“Our backlog is not that big and the car doesn’t feel that bad. We just have to keep trying. From a performance point of view, there probably aren’t many more options, but we keep pushing,” added Lewis Hamilton.
Fellow Mercedes driver George Russell was fastest in the the first Friday practice, and in the second he was fifth. The young Brit has no doubt that the W13 works better at Zandvoort than at Spa. However, he does not expect to fight for pole position, as was the case in Hungary.
“It was unique in Hungary. I think our opponents fell short on the day, while we did an absolutely excellent job. Apparently we overtook them by accident.”
“I’ll be shocked if we can repeat the result from Hungary, but I think we’re definitely closer than we’ve been in a long time. “
Russell believes Mercedes will do better in the race. At the same time, he warned that starting from a lower position could have a negative impact on the chances of a podium.
“Our pace in the long runs looks strong. But you have to start from the right position. If we qualify in the third row, it will be difficult for us to fight for first or second place.”
“But it’s a bit tricky there because the timing screen wasn’t working. We weren’t able to figure out where actually what our real pace was. I’m sure everyone will be trying to gather as much data as possible tonight and I feel we’re in a reasonably good place,” added George Russell.
Good work, Team. Back tomorrow for more 👏 pic.twitter.com/mvGeoHtAHM
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 2, 2022