It will be a long night for the Silver Arrow after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell had their struggles in practice on Friday for the Monaco Grand Prix, with Hamilton in particular stressing that he has found 2022-spec cars quite a few around these narrow streets.
After a much-improved performance in Spain, Mercedes’ fortunes were mixed on Friday in Monaco as Lewis Hamilton finished P10 and then P12 in the relevant training sessions – Russell went to P8 and then P6. Hamilton then explained exactly why he struggled after finishing in the top ten in FP2.
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“First of all, it is the most bumpy path [has] since when. Probably the most bumpy track I’ve ever driven, which makes one, tough — but two, in general, our car bounces a lot. It’s a different throwback to what we experienced in the past; It’s in low speed too, but it’s not pneumatic[-related].
“I think the bumps on the track make it worse. But other than that, you don’t really have to learn the track differently. Just fighting the car to put the lap together is [like]: ‘Wow…holy crap! I don’t remember ever having tried it this way.”
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The seven-times champion and three-time Monaco Grand Prix winner added that he expected a fight with McLaren this weekend.
“Like I said, putting the lap together is hard, but I think we made some improvements in that session [FP2]. And it doesn’t look like, when you’re actually trying to put the lap together, the grip doesn’t feel intimidating.
“It’s just eyeballs coming out of their sockets. So, we have some work to do overnight to try and fix that. As expected, I didn’t think we’d be as fast as Ferrari and Red Bulls. Our battle is to try and stay ahead of McLaren for what it is. Think “.
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“There are points when you’re about to do a wheelie” – Russell explains Mercedes’ struggles in Monaco
Teammate Russell agreed, even though he finished in the top ten in both sessions.
“I don’t feel bad anymore,” he said. “I think I could feel better. I think it’s been a relatively good day but we’re not where we want to be. We’re P6, there’s a McLaren ahead of us. We want to be the best of the rest, I think that’s going to be a fair result this weekend meaning we’re behind Ferrari and Red Bull, but we need to make sure that we don’t have a light little Lando [Norris] appeared there too. ”
READ MORE: Red Bull ‘surprised’ by the difference with Ferrari after Verstappen and Perez behind Leclerc in Monaco training
Russell added that the stiffer 2022 cars make it harder to collect lap, which Hamilton noted in his comments above. On top of that, the new Mercedes recruit added that Ferrari isn’t struggling as much – and his team has everything it does to catch up.
“Very rough around a bumpy street circuit, it’s not easy to put on the limits, and I think that’s one of the biggest difficulties. And I think Ferrari … we see how good they were at getting around the barriers. We saw that at Imola, they crushed them with relative ease.” And he’s clearly playing in their favour at the moment, so we have a lot of work to do overnight.
“I’m not very sure we can really bridge that gap, but still, it’s always nice to drive here.”
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