At the end of Friday’s United States Grand Prix, Sergio Perez topped a Red Bull timetable. Lewis Hamilton was third and Max Verstappen was eighth. Hamilton’s speed was reduced, while on-track traffic forced Verstappen to abandon his performance run and continue long runs.
The first free workout was much better for Mercedes with almost a second to go. Mercedes was particularly pleased that the tires worked well and the car’s balance was right. However, in the second free practice, things seemed less favorable.
There is work to be done
Andrew Showlin, director of engineering at Mercedes Trackside, says that if Hamilton had not taken his time, it would have been a little better on paper: “At VT2, we had less strength. Looks like we ‘ve lost momentum. “
“It may be related to many things. Maybe we have not yet adapted to warmer conditions. Others may have improved, but some of our adaptations did not work as well. We expected.”
After those first two training sessions Mercedes did not travel completely blindfolded: “We have found some starting points that could bite Texan tonight. There is still a lot to improve, but I feel that it is very close to the top of the sensory field we left off from the second training and that the two Red Bulls will compete for the polar position.”
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