Mercedes: Hard to know where we stand

Mercedes report from day one of the German Grand Prix weekend, Round 11 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Hockenheim.

  • Solid Friday for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in the Hockenheim heat
  • Lewis finished the morning session in P3 with Valtteri in P5
  • In the afternoon, Lewis came home in P3 with Valtteri in P4

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s not been the best of days in terms of the heat, but pretty straightforward otherwise. These tyres don’t like the temperature so we had to do very slow outlaps and the tyres don’t last very long.

“It’s all about trying to keep the tyres in the working range. They were always overheating, so that’s been the main issue today, but we’re all in the same boat. We’re hoping the weather won’t be like this for the rest of the weekend.

“If it’s cooler and it’s dry, nothing from today really applies – the tyres will come back towards us and everyone will be quicker and more comfortable on the track.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It’s was extremely hot, I can’t remember the last time I drove in these kind of conditions, but it’s the same for everyone. It makes it more tricky for the drivers, the cars and the tyres.

“We saw lots of overheating, especially in sector 3. We’ve made some progress on our cooling; we would have struggled massively to run here with the package we had in Austria, but with the new package we could actually complete some good long runs.

“The weather is going to be completely different tomorrow and on Sunday with lower temperatures and a chance of rain. So we will need to be very dynamic reacting to the weather with the car set-up. We haven’t really run in the wet this year, so I actually hope for rain – it would be nice to drive in the wet.

Andrew Shovlin: “It’s been a tough day in the heat, we were seeing over 39°C in the second session which was pretty hard on the tyres and the car, not to mention the drivers and the team in the garage.

“We had quite a few new bits on the car, some for performance and some to improve the cooling. So far, it all seems to be in the right direction but there is so much overheating on the tyres today that it is hard to know where we stand.

“In terms of pace, some runs were a bit better than others but our overall feeling is that in these temperatures, we’re probably sitting a little bit behind Ferrari. We’ve got some useful learning from the sessions today and it’s been a good test of the car, but we’re expecting a big drop in temperature for the remainder of the weekend. With the cooler temperatures there is a good chance of rain which should keep things interesting.

Hockenheim FP2: Leclerc fastest but it’s close at the top