Bottas and Mercedes Bracing for a Long Weekend

Published 07/27/2018, 1:44 PM EDT


The Mercedes F1 team seemed to be out of sorts during Friday practice. Both driver were well off the pace with Lewis Hamilton languishing in fifth and Bottas sixth. The Finn was a second adrift of leader Sebastian Vettel in FP2.

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What didn’t help matters was the fact that they set their best times on the Soft tyres. The two made mistakes on the Ultrasofts, compromising them.
“Today was not an easy day; the car was difficult to drive and I struggled to get laps together, especially in FP1,” said Bottas.

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The 28-year old was encouraged by the improvements to the set-up in FP2. But he knew that there was still more work to do.
“This is a difficult circuit, you need to have a well-balanced car in order to get all the corners right and we need to get the car more stable.
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Valtteri Bottas
Both drivers struggled to get comfortable with the Ultrasoft compound tyres and battled overheating issues. Since overtaking at the Hungaroring is difficult, track position is crucial. Even strategy comes into play as the driver with the least stops will have an advantage.

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“Red Bull and Ferrari are as quick as we expected; I think it’s going to be very close.”
According to Hamilton, the main issue he was facing was preserving the rear tyres.
The Silver Arrows anticipated that the Ferraris and Red Bulls would be strong. The two team obviously have more pace than them, so Mercedes have their work cut out for them. Hamilton also said that the Hungaroring is a tricky circuit to master. According to him, looking after the rear tyres will be the main concern as they are prone to overheating.

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Given the temperatures and the track layout, it is really tricky for the tyres since there is no time for them to cool down.

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Dhruv George

11291 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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