Hamilton: Mercedes has "work to do" on one-lap F1 pace

Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes Formula 1 team still needs to work on its one-lap pace despite leading Friday practice for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Hamilton: Mercedes has "work to do" on one-lap F1 pace
Listen to this article

Hamilton topped both free practice sessions at the Jeddah Corniche street circuit, narrowly edging out teammate Valtteri Bottas and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in the second session.

His title rival Max Verstappen ended up fourth in FP2 in the Red Bull, two tenths behind Hamilton, after the Dutchman finished a close second to the world champion in the first session.

Despite being quickest out of the gates, Hamilton feels his Mercedes car still needs work on single-lap pace, while being happier on the long runs.

"We're not rapid on the single lap, I would say, compared to the others, but the long run is not too bad," Hamilton reported on Friday night.

"We made some changes between sessions. I'm not sure which one I want to stay with.

"We'll study through tonight and work with the guys at the factory to try and make sure we come up with the right setup tomorrow. It is definitely not in a bad place.

"I think as I said on a single lap they [Red Bull] are quite quick, so we've got a bit of work to do."

Mercedes' trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained that the team's one-lap issue concerns getting the most out of Pirelli's softest tyre compound over one lap in the night-time conditions, as the tyres are reportedly on the soft side for this particular track.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"I think we're happy with how the car's performing on a long run," Shovlin told Sky. "Single lap, we were happier this morning than we were in the afternoon, sort of struggling to get the grip out of the tyres, and in particular on that soft.

"Now we've got some ideas for what to do there so that we understand our own problem, and we'll just get busy tonight trying to improve it.

"The morning was a happier situation for us when the track was a bit warmer. Moving into the night-time session we definitely struggled.

"The long run did look strong and that tends to tell you that the base performance is there in the car. We've just got to do all the fine tuning to get the tyres in the right window for that single lap in Q3."

Read Also:
shares
comments

Saudi Arabian GP: Hamilton quickest in FP2 as Leclerc crashes

Horner: Red Bull "desperately needs" Perez up front in 2021 battle

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Williams launch
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Throwback: The 1987 Lotus 99T The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The story of Ken Tyrrell's team How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?