Hamilton: “We’re just slow”

Knocked out of the Top 10 in the first runs in Baku, the Mercedes team experienced one of its most complicated Fridays in recent years. 

Published on 04/06/2021 à 17:03

Julien BILLIOTTE

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Hamilton: “We’re just slow”

Mercedes seems up against the wall this Friday evening in Baku / © DPPI

Mercedes had a delicate start this Friday in Baku, where neither Lewis Hamilton, neither Valtteri Bottas did not appear in the 10 of Free Practice 2 of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. 

The seven-time world champion was in a modest 11th place, more than a full second behind the benchmark set by the Red Bull by Sergio Pérez. To find trace of his Finnish teammate, he had to go down 5 rows and a second further.

These performances are all the more troubling for Mercedes as Hamilton did not notice anything abnormal from the cockpit. 

« I think I had a really good day behind the wheel, reported the Briton. I felt good, I had clear sessions with the exception of a wheel lock in FP1 but we are just slow. I feel like I'm driving well.

In FP2, I just didn't have the means to go any faster... We're quite behind. Everyone is going to rack their brains tonight to analyze the data and see how we can improve. Our pace on the long relays was better but... 

The car seems to have limitations. We could go faster in certain areas but I no longer have grip. It's not easy to find yourself outside the Top 10 when you're used to playing in front but we're going to work to find solutions ». 

Bottas drew a more severe observation, suggesting that the problem could be quite profound. 

« It was a very complicated day, whispered the Finn. We lack rhythm. It’s really a question of grip because we’re not very far from having found the right balance. We slip a lot. There can be many explanations for this.

We were a little better on the long stints but we were still behind. Clearly there is something wrong ». 

At Mercedes, the night may be long, or very short.  

Julien BILLIOTTE

AUTOhebdo deputy editor-in-chief. The feather dipped in gall.

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