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Formula 1 | “Crazy”: Hamilton puzzles over Mercedes problems

You don’t really get smart from the pace of Mercedes. While the Silver Arrows made it onto the podium with both cars in France, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were to be found in the gray midfield in Hungary’s practice session. Neither in the first nor in the second practice session could you keep up with the leaders and ended up finishing eighth (Russell) and eleventh (Hamilton).

“The car is a little difficult,” said Hamilton after practice and seemed surprised: “It’s crazy how much it changes from track to track. I’m still trying to figure out how we can get the car to work at the moment. It has little grip and doesn’t do what we want,” said the Brit, who spoke of a “difficult day”.

Mercedes actually wanted to build on its best result of the season. In France, the racing team was better than third place for the first time this season and also got both cars on the podium for the first time. You even beat a Red Bull under your own steam.

Hamilton: “It will be a difficult weekend”

At Le Castellet, Hamilton said the car would feel good. But he’s not that euphoric after training in Hungary: “The car hasn’t changed since last week, I’m still the same driver as last week, but for some reason it doesn’t work on this track.”

He believes: “Once we’ve managed to do it, the gap should be as big as last week, about a second.” But that’s how much it was for him on Friday.

Hamilton also says that he damaged the underbody in the second practice session, which was certainly not conducive to the long run pace. “It’s going to be a difficult weekend, that’s for sure. But we’ll give everything and see what comes of it.”

Russell: “Tomorrow will be a whole new day”

Teammate Russell was nine tenths of a second behind. Although he agrees that it wasn’t an easy day for Mercedes, the team experimented a bit to get to the bottom of their problems – also because it’s supposed to rain from Saturday.

“Conditions on Sunday will be very different, so we tried a few things on the car and used it as a kind of test drive, to be honest,” says Russell. “You can try to optimize a few things for today, but that doesn’t help.” He says: “Even though it was a difficult day, it was a productive one.”

According to Russell, while the experiments revolve around learning more about the car, even if that means getting a little less lap time, the team is “definitely a little further away than we expected”.

“But tomorrow will be a completely new day,” he adds, “and Sunday will also be completely different. So all is not lost.”

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