Russell satisfied with car improvements, Hamilton disappointed with performance
As the Australian Grand Prix practice got underway, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell opted for different set-ups, leading to a tale of two drivers’ experiences on the track.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell provided contrasting assessments of Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix, as they opted for different car set-ups. While Russell expressed satisfaction with the modifications made to his W14 between sessions, Hamilton’s demeanor was markedly different.
“The morning session went well, but the afternoon session didn’t go as planned,” was the straightforward evaluation from the seven-time Formula 1 champion. During the first practice session, Hamilton recorded the second-fastest time, 0.433 seconds behind Red Bull’s reigning champion Max Verstappen, while Russell finished ninth, trailing by 0.909 seconds.
During the second practice session, the track conditions were affected by rain, and the drivers were only able to use dry tyres for the first 15 minutes.
Despite the challenging conditions, Russell was able to get a good sense of his car’s performance, which left him pleased. During this session, the standings were largely insignificant since no driver was able to complete a fast lap on soft tyres, as is typical in dry conditions. As a result, Russell finished fourth, and Hamilton finished 13th.
However, Hamilton was dissatisfied with the performance of his car and provided negative feedback. “It felt slightly better this morning,” he remarked. “We implemented some changes, but they didn’t produce the desired results, so we will review them tonight. The rain made for less than ideal session conditions.”
Regarding his prospects for qualifying, Hamilton remarked, “We won’t be in direct competition with the Red Bulls. Instead, our goal will be to secure the highest possible starting position. I believe we have the speed to finish around fifth place, which is where we finished in the previous race.”
Russell was content with the progress made by his team, stating that it was a reasonable forecast.
George Russell expressed satisfaction with the reliability of his car, stating, “The car feels good, and I’m content with the progress we’ve made.” He also acknowledged that the unexpected rain had caused some challenges during the second practice session, remarking, “The weather caused some frustration for everyone and made things a little difficult for us.”
Russell stated that despite the challenging weather, the second session was reasonably successful, with the team making significant progress from the first practice session. He found this progress encouraging and mentioned that the team had made multiple adjustments to the car’s set-up during the break between sessions, leading to positive developments. Russell emphasized that the team’s focus was on getting the car optimized as the weekend progressed to achieve the best possible performance.
Russell emphasized that it was gratifying to feel the improvements made to the car while driving. He also praised the team’s collective efforts in achieving those improvements. “It’s satisfying to know that the car feels better, and as a team, we’ve worked towards that goal,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see how it translates into tomorrow’s session, but I wasn’t very content with the car during FP1, whereas I was much happier with it during FP2.”
Regarding his personal goals for qualifying, Russell shared, “If we can execute everything perfectly, our aim is to secure a spot on the third row, somewhere between P5 and P8. It’s not the ideal position for us as a team, and we recognize that we have further improvements to make in a few races. As a result, we must capitalize on our opportunities and strive for a similar outcome to what we achieved in Jeddah, where we exceeded the car’s potential by giving our all.”
Russell satisfied with car improvements, Hamilton disappointed with performance Russell satisfied with car improvements, Hamilton disappointed with performance Russell satisfied with car improvements, Hamilton disappointed with performance
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