Mercedes continued to struggle this week at the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton admitted they are still facing the same problems with the car as last week in Bahrain.
The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion was ninth fastest in FP1 then fifth in FP2, as the team still struggled to get their “zero-pod” W13 to work well, as they clearly still suffered from “porpoising”.
Speaking after Friday’s running, Hamilton said: “It’s been an OK day, we still have many of the same problems we had in the last race but we’re working through them.
“It’s definitely a little bit harder here with the high-speed corners but the grip is really good on the track and we just need to find some speed on the straights.
“We’ll be heads down tonight, understanding the data from today and putting ourselves in the best position for qualifying tomorrow,” the 37-year-old concluded.
Anything can happen in Jeddah
George Russell echoed his teammate’s sentiments with regards with the recurring problems with the car, as he reflected on Friday’s two practice sessions in a team statement.
“It’s great to be back on the Jeddah circuit, extremely high-speed and exhilarating for the drivers, but we are still experiencing the same issues we faced last weekend in Bahrain,” he revealed.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do to close the gap on Red Bull and Ferrari. We’ll be fighting to maximise our opportunities for points this weekend and giving it our all tomorrow in qualifying.
“Anything can happen around here so it’s important we’re in touching distance to capture as many points as possible,” Russell insisted.
Mercedes cannot trouble Ferrari and Red Bull yet
Andrew Shovlin, the team’s director of engineering revealed that the team was experimenting to try to understand how to reduce the car’s bouncing tendency, but to no avail.
“We tried a few more experiments to understand the bouncing issue here, some which made it worse, some which helped, but we don’t yet have a solution to make the problem go away,” he said.
“We can reduce this slightly for tomorrow as it’s affecting the drivers in a few of the corners and costing time.
“Compared to Bahrain, the car balance is in a better place and in terms of degradation we’re quite happy with what we have seen today. Our single lap still needs a bit of work but we’ve got the session tomorrow to do that.
“Overall though, a reasonable day but clearly we still have a bit of work to do before we’ll be troubling Red Bull or Ferrari,” he admitted.
This duo. 👊 @LewisHamilton pic.twitter.com/Z2LtZtlOJy
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) March 25, 2022