Mercedes: We seemed to struggle a little with the option tyre

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

The first practice sessions for the seventh race of the season took place today at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

  • Lewis Hamilton set the best lap of the opening day, with Nico Rosberg posting the second fastest time
  • Both sessions saw the Silver Arrows separated by less than two tenths of a second
  • The threat of rain in the afternoon resulted in a higher than average quantity of laps being completed in the morning
  • Both cars ran trouble-free, allowing the team to focus on set-up work for the weekend ahead

Lewis Hamilton: “It felt pretty good out there today but we’ve still got improvements to make and there is more to come from the set-up and balance tomorrow. This is quite a technical circuit which is all about the kerbs and apexes; you have to have a car that reacts well to the bumps. You’re always trying to find the limit so we’re not quite where we want to be yet. The Ferraris looked quite close today and the rest of the field seemed closer in general but hopefully not too close! It’s very hard to overtake here so pole position is important. Nico looked very quick today as well so I have my work cut out for sure. We’ll find out everyone’s pace in qualifying tomorrow afternoon so let’s wait and see what happens.”

Nico Rosberg: “That was a great day and I felt very comfortable in my Silver Arrow. This morning, we worked on some different things with the brakes which didn’t quite work out so we had to change that this afternoon. It was much better for the second session so I’m quite happy now with that. But I’m still a tenth off the quickest time so I’ll work hard with our engineers tonight to find that extra pace. It’s a unique track here and it’s very difficult to hit the kerbs just right. It was also great to see so many spectators here already today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Toto Wolff: “It was an interesting day which threw up some surprising conclusions. One of our biggest jobs will be to analyse and understand why the option tyre didn’t perform as well on our car in comparison to the prime and also how to manage graining on the option during the race. It is a short lap here, which closes up the field anyway, but it feels like Ferrari might be pushing us harder this weekend. We will need to get every detail right to deliver our potential in the race, so there’s plenty of work still ahead of us this evening.”

Paddy Lowe: “Today we focused on doing our homework for the race, looking particularly at tyre performance and fuel consumption. This is one of the most challenging circuits of the season in terms of fuel consumption and how we best use the 100 kg race fuel allowance. The threat of rain meant we ran more laps than usual in the morning session, including some high fuel work, before a more normal afternoon of short and long runs on low and high fuel. The car ran fine but we seemed to struggle a little with the option tyre, which did not deliver as much lap time as we had expected. This may open up some interesting strategies for qualifying.”