George Russell expressed his disappointment with Mercedes’ performance during Friday’s practice session at the British Grand Prix. Both Russell and his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, struggled to find pace and finished 12th and 15th respectively, trailing over a second behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, which set the fastest time.
Despite Mercedes introducing a new front wing as part of their recent car upgrades, aimed at closing the performance gap, Russell described their performance as “nowhere.” He emphasized the need to comprehend the reasons behind their lack of speed.
In a conversation with Jennie Gow, Lewis Hamilton commented on the challenges of driving their car, stating that regardless of their setup changes, it remained difficult to handle. He also expressed frustration that switching to the supposedly faster soft tires did not result in any significant improvement. Hamilton acknowledged that something was amiss and mentioned the positive aspect of their long-run pace.
Hamilton and Russell had different setups, and they contemplated switching to each other’s configurations to find a solution. They planned to work on resolving their issues overnight and hoped to come up with a solution for the following day.
Hamilton showcased more competitive pace during race simulations, outperforming Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, which was the second-fastest on a single lap but still considerably slower than Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Russell acknowledged that it was not their best Friday and anticipated different conditions for the upcoming sessions. He noted that their performance seemed promising in the first practice session with the medium tires, but in the second session, they struggled to find the same level of performance. Russell mentioned a trend where hotter temperatures seemed to hinder their performance, and they had some theories about the underlying reasons.
On Friday, Silverstone experienced temperatures in the high 20Cs, with a possibility of slight drops and potential rain over the weekend. Max Verstappen appeared dominant, despite his narrow margin over Sainz. His race simulation on a fuel-loaded car was particularly impressive, with more than half a second per lap advantage over teammate Sergio Perez, who was on the same soft tires. Sainz was slightly behind in terms of pace.
Among the surprises, Williams driver Alex Albon secured the third-fastest time, while his teammate Logan Sargeant finished fifth behind Perez. Lando Norris, in the upgraded McLaren that performed well in Austria, recorded the 14th fastest time.
Unfortunately, Charles Leclerc from Ferrari couldn’t participate in the session due to an electrical problem discovered during the lunch break. Fernando Alonso, currently third in the championship for Aston Martin, only managed the tenth-fastest time on a single lap, with his teammate Lance Stroll finishing sixth. Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas, Pierre Gasly’s Alpine, and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri completed the top ten.
Several drivers, including Hamilton and Russell, expressed their struggles with grip, especially during the first session, as they experimented with a new, sturdier Pirelli tire construction designed to reduce the risk of failures on high-speed tracks like Silverstone. However, the teams were instructed to run the tires at unusually high pressures, significantly higher than the previous races.
As the practice session concluded, Hollywood star Brad Pitt prepared to take to the track in a modified Formula 2 car, shooting scenes for the upcoming Apple F1 movie. Pitt, playing the role of veteran racer Sonny Hayes, returns to mentor a rising young star. The film crew established their own garage at Silverstone and will continue filming at various races throughout the season, with a dedicated garage space created for Pitt’s character in the film.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about British Grand Prix
Q: What was George Russell’s opinion on Mercedes’ performance at the British Grand Prix?
A: George Russell expressed his dissatisfaction with Mercedes’ performance, describing them as “nowhere” during the Friday practice session at the British Grand Prix.
Q: Did Mercedes introduce any upgrades for the race?
A: Yes, Mercedes introduced a new front wing as part of their recent car upgrades aimed at improving their performance and closing the gap to the front-runners.
Q: How did Lewis Hamilton describe the car’s handling?
A: Lewis Hamilton stated that the car remained challenging to drive regardless of the setup changes they made. He emphasized the difficulty in finding a suitable configuration.
Q: How did Max Verstappen perform during the practice sessions?
A: Max Verstappen showcased impressive performance, setting the fastest time in the practice sessions and demonstrating his dominance on the track.
Q: What issues did the drivers face regarding grip?
A: Several drivers, including Hamilton and Russell, reported struggles with grip, particularly during the first session. They attributed this to trying a new, sturdier Pirelli tire construction with higher pressures.
Q: Who was filming scenes at Silverstone for an Apple F1 movie?
A: Hollywood star Brad Pitt was filming scenes at Silverstone for an Apple F1 movie, where he portrays a veteran racer named Sonny Hayes mentoring a young rising star.
More about British Grand Prix
- British Grand Prix Official Website
- Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Official Website
- Red Bull Racing Official Website
- Pirelli Motorsport Official Website
- Silverstone Circuit Official Website
- Apple F1 Movie News
- George Russell Official Twitter Account
- Lewis Hamilton Official Twitter Account
- Max Verstappen Official Twitter Account