Mercedes bets on race pace for British Grand Prix

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Although Lewis Hamilton was runner-up on Friday’s timesheet at Silverstone, it’s Mercedes’ long-term pace that gives the Brackley team hope.

After the first hour of wet testing on Friday, the Formula 1 teams completed the afternoon laps where Hamilton was second quickest behind Carlos Sainz.

The Briton, running his W13 updates with his new front suspension, floor and sidepod entries, was just 0.163 seconds slower than the Ferrari driver.

When it comes to long-term pace, data from F1.com suggests Red Bull has the advantage over Ferrari by 0.21s with Mercedes around 0.67s off the pace.

Brackley’s team thinks it’s closer than that.

“It was pretty good,” Hamilton said, while George Russell described it as “pretty promising”.

He added: “We were definitely faster than them. [McLaren] and when the tires were warm at the end we were even faster than Ferrari. They fell a bit at the end, but we improved lap after lap.

Mercedes director of ground engineering Andrew Shovlin added: “Normally we see the kind of half a second gap, maybe even seven or eight tenths from the fastest teams on A long period. And it didn’t seem to be there.

“It’s probably kind of the circuit that suits the car.”

But while Mercedes could have the pace in Sunday’s race, Russell is still a little worried about how they will fare in qualifying.

While Red Bull and Ferrari are expected to battle for the front row, Lando Norris was not far off Hamilton’s pace in FP2 over a single lap.

Russell said: “McLaren was pretty strong on one lap and we can’t get the tires to work. But we are in a good window on the race. It’s always a question of balance, of course, but you can’t put everything on the Sunday menu.

Regarding Mercedes’ porpoising issues, Hamilton said according to Motorsport.com: “It still bounces around a bit. Not necessarily on the straights, but on the corners.

Shovlin says turns 9 and 15 were where it was the worst on Friday.

“We struggled at turn 9 and we had some rebounds at turn 15 as well,” he said, “but those are things we’ll look at when we get back to the office.”

He added that Mercedes was unlikely to try to find any gains for the car in qualifying, focusing instead on Sunday.

“We tried a lot throughout the races and learned that big qualifying stages are not a good idea because if you get it wrong you are bound to get it in qualifying and in the race,” he said. he declares.

“We were quite aggressive here at the start and maybe there will be a bit more.”

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