Mercedes F1 Team – Friday Practice Report
Lewis finished the morning session in P1 with Valtteri in P2.
The order remained the same in the afternoon session, with half a tenth between them.
In FP1, Lewis ran the Medium (install), Soft and SuperSoft compound tyres, with Valtteri running Soft and SuperSoft.
Both drivers then used the Soft and SuperSoft compound tyres in FP2.
Lewis Hamilton: It’s been a good day. It was pretty exciting to come to the track with the cars being so much faster this year. It’s physically more demanding than before which is great and it’s obviously quite warm out there today.
We got through the long runs and the short runs; unfortunately, the tyres don’t really last very long, so you only get one or two laps on the short runs. Overall, we got through what we needed to do. We’re in a decent position but I think it could be quite close.
Valtteri Bottas: I think it was a positive day for us. Initially in Practice 1 we did some aero tests, looking at some things we can improve for next year. We now have some data to analyse from that. Otherwise, I think both the short runs and the long runs in both sessions looked positive for us as a team, so we have a good starting point for the weekend.
Still, we were a little bit struggling to get the set-up right for each corner of the circuit. However, I was really enjoying this track and I’m looking forward to the weekend.
We had quite a big programme this morning looking at some development items for 2018. We had been putting off that work while we were still fighting for the championships, so it was very good to get that done. We have collected a lot of good data from those tests which will all feed into the development programme for the W09. The weather forecast looked like we might lose some running with the rain today but it was great that it stayed dry.
It was really good to get some long run work done in the hot conditions both in FP1 and FP2 as it looks like we will have similar track conditions on Sunday. Overall, the cars are working well but it’s been tricky today in the windy conditions and both drivers struggled to put their lap together on the super-softs. There are a few areas that we need to work to improve the car but it’s been a solid start to the weekend and we’re looking forward to a good fight with the Red Bulls and Ferraris.