Hamilton, Bottas and Wolff comment on Spanish GP FP1&2

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes managed to top both of Friday’s free practice sessions. Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Toto Wolff are pleased with the “best Friday so far”.

Valtteri Bottas took the top spot in the first free practice, while in the second he was in P2.

“I think it was a good start to the weekend,” the Finn told Sky Sports F1.

“The feeling with the car was not bad and that is always a good starting point. There were no big problems with the balance.

Bottas went into a little bit more detail on the setup of the car.

“I think this weekend we’re planning to run the same setup in terms of rear wing and everything.

“I think for this track, we have a pretty good understanding of what should be the optimal for both. I think from that side it is okay.

“So tonight, it’s is the usual thing: trying to fine tune the setup as best as we can, because every millisecond we can find, we know it’s going to help in qualifying.”

The Finn believes the managing the tyre temperatures will be the key to success in qualifying.

“I think still, with the soft tyre for qualifying, getting both axles, the front and the rear, to work perfectly for Lap 1, I think that’s going to be the key.

“I believe again, the gaps are going to be small,” concluded Bottas.

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Lewis Hamilton, while third in FP1, managed to get on top in FP2.

“We started the weekend excellently,” the Briton said after the sessions.

“We did an excellent job and can be satisfied with the final positions. Now we have to look ahead to tomorrow.”

However, Lewis says the improved performance of the car didn’t come easy.

“We’ve had to work at it. It never comes that easy and I don’t think with this car it is ever going to be the case.

“But we understand the car and we know which direction we need to go balance-wise so we have made some tweaks along the way.

“I don’t know if it got better for this session necessarily but there were some findings there so I’m hoping to have a better set up for tomorrow.”

Hamilton also praised the improved performance of some midfield teams.

“It’s amazing to see the progress that Ferrari and McLaren are making, and even Alpine. It’s fantastic to see them so strong, so that applies pressure to us also.

“It’s not just to one group,” concluded Hamilton.

Needless to say, team boss Toto Wolff was also quite happy with how free practice went

“It was good,” said the Austrian.

“I think it was our best Friday so far so encouraging. We just discussed on the pit that we have 24 hours to really screw it up.”

Barcelona is said to be one of the more representative tracks, showing the true balance of power on the grid. However, Wolff is careful in his assessment on where his team stands.

“I think we have the data from the previous year. Nevertheless, everybody says that Barcelona is always so representative as a track.

“The question is: Whether it still really is? There is plenty of tracks that have all the different kinds of corners and straights.

“This one is good and representative with the last sector is hard against the tyres, but the rest, let’s see,” concluded Wolff.

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