Mercedes Struggling the Same as in Monaco & Baku at French GP: Lewis Hamilton Expresses Concern

Published 06/18/2021, 11:43 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – FIA Press Conference – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 17, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


With two free practice sessions done and dusted in Le Castellet, drivers learned where they stand in terms of pace. Although Mercedes seem to be back to their best, Lewis Hamilton didn’t quite believe they were ahead by much.

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While the Briton finished ahead of Verstappen in the first practice session, he finished behind him in the second session. After a day where the FIA amped up checks on tires, Hamilton summed up his Friday.

Lewis Hamilton believes there isn’t much difference between today and the previous two race weekends

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Although Hamilton put in solid lap times, he finished both practice sessions behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas. In addition, Bottas finished ahead of Hamilton in the second practice session despite running on the medium tires.

Despite an improvement from his recent Fridays in Monaco and Baku, Hamilton believes there isn’t much difference between today and those previous Fridays.

The Briton said, “Not much different, to be honest even though the position is quite a bit different to Monaco and Baku.”

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Yves Herman

However, he believes all drivers struggled in Le Castellet today. “Quite a struggle this weekend, I think probably for everyone,” said the 36-year-old.

“I don’t know if it’s the track surface, or it’s the temperature or these inflated tires. You know, they’ve put the pressures up higher than ever before. So, it’s difficult to say but we’re all sliding around and I think it’s a struggle out there, for everyone.”

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Hamilton: At least we’re in the battle

Despite admitting to struggling in the practice sessions, the defending world champion believes Mercedes are well and truly in the battle with Red Bull.

However, he admitted he won’t know how much they will progress heading into qualifying until they get out on track tomorrow.

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“I’m looking at every option. We’ve made lots of changes, we’re probably doing a lot of analysis again tonight with the hope that it’s going to be better tomorrow,” said the Briton.

“But, you won’t know until you get back out tomorrow. The times don’t look terrible. We’re close up at the front, so at least we’re in the battle.”

With the championship battle intensifying, qualifying takes on significant importance in Le Castellet. Can Hamilton continue his winning streak at the French Grand Prix this weekend?

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Sanket Nair

302 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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