A mixed practice day for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team in Singapore
- FP1 saw Lewis finish in P1 for the first time this season and George in P5 under the lights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
- George managed P3 and Lewis P5 in FP2, with the W13 to unlock more performance ahead of qualifying.
- The Singapore GP is one of the most physically and mentally demanding races of the season, with intense humidity and warm temperatures, alongside being a stop/start track.
On paper it’s been a promising day for us, but paper doesn’t mean anything. Overall, today went okay, but there’s definitely a lot of work to do for us. This circuit is very unique and conditions here are tricky. It’s just so hot and you always feel a bit light-headed jumping out of the car. The track surface is very bumpy out there and I think to a degree everybody is struggling with that. We know that that’s a weak point with our car plus the tires here are quite sensitive. I was surprised about the grip levels on the new track surface and I’m sure track improvements will continue to evolve during the weekend. I’m sure in qualifying there will be a big improvement from Q1 to Q3. If we manage to absolutely nail it tomorrow, there will be a huge amount of lap time we can find in qualifying and we all know how important qualifying performance is at this track. We feel optimistic and work hard overnight.
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Today started off well with FP1, but wasn’t as great in the second session. The car is what it is and we’re bouncing around a lot, but it doesn’t feel like we’re massively off this weekend. There’s not too much we can do about the stiffness of the car with the tools we have, but set-up wise we can find more time. With the set-up that I had today, there was a lot of locking, which we will fix it tonight so we can come back and give it a better go tomorrow. Conditions here are tricky, I definitely feel dehydrated after the sessions, a bit heavy and very hot. But biggest problem is not the physical challenge so much as getting the car in the window for qualifying tomorrow.
It’s great to finally be back in Singapore, but it’s a difficult circuit and the three-year break since we were here last doesn’t help in terms of understanding where to go on setup or knowing how the tyres are going to behave. We’ve had a pretty clean couple of sessions, especially comparing to Red Bull and Ferrari who looked to have a few issues, but we have managed to get through the majority of the planned work. The car was a bit better balanced in the first session and seemed easier to put the times in. In the second session we picked up a bit more locking and neither driver got a particularly clean lap in, so hopefully we’ll be able to make a bit of a step there overnight. Overall, though, it’s been a decent start to the weekend and it looks like the car has potential for a decent result here.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team