In the Austrian Grand Prix FP1 Mercedes seemed to struggle a bit, with Valtteri Bottas finishing the session in P4 and Lewis Hamilton in P7.
In FP2 things turned around and Hamilton and Bottas topped the session. However, Lewis doesn’t think this means Mercedes managed to close the gap to Red Bull.
“They’ve definitely got something extra in their bag, I already know that,” the Briton said after the FP2.
“We’ve made some small progress today, but I think they still have the two tenths, or maybe it’s a tenth-and-a-half, something like that.
“We’ve definitely made some small steps forward, but not enough to close that, it’s not the two tenths. But over a single lap, that felt OK, it felt pretty good.
“I just expect them to turn up a little more tomorrow. They’ve almost basically got like the qualifying mode that we used to have. I’m gonna ask my guys, I don’t understand where they get it front.
“But it’s impressive and we’ve got to work hard to see if we can match it somehow.”
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
Hamilton went on to explain what caused him to lag behind in the first free practice session.
“I was trying different variants of the car, and the car wasn’t happy, so then I had to make the change back to similar to what I had last week.
“But again, with some other adjustments, it felt much better. I’m generally happy with where the car is.
“I’m probably not going to change too much, because most often, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Most of the time, we always try to eke out more, and it gets worse. I’ll be doing the tiniest of tweaks.”
Ultimately Lewis says he believes the performance of Red Bull and Mercedes will remain on the same level as it had been at the Styrian Grand Prix.
“I’m pretty sure it stays the same. Whatever gap they’re going to have tomorrow is usually the gap they seem to have on a Sunday.
“But we’ll be pushing, trying to make that gap as small as possible tomorrow, and if we can improve the car at all tonight, then great.
“I’d like to think that our long run was OK, I’m going to have to have a see, have a look now.
“I obviously had my off, but we’ll wait and see,” concluded the seven-time champion.