Belgian Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says Ferrari’s pace on Friday means his team need to find a way to up the pressure on their rivals.
Mercedes were left trailing the Ferraris in practice after a dominant display from the red cars. With Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finishing in the top two positions in FP1, their roles reversed in second practice. But, their advantage remained quite significant. With all running Soft tyres in FP2, the quickest Mercedes was 0.6 down on the slowest Ferrari.
Having had a technical problem in FP1 with the throttle pedal, Hamilton explained that Friday practice hadn’t been completely smooth on his side of the garage: “It was obviously not a great start for us in FP1, we had a problem with the throttle pedal, I basically lost power and was idling. I managed to fix it with a couple of switch changes and got the car back to the garage, but when I went out we had another issue. It was a bit of a mess, but we got some laps in towards the end.”
Highlighting Ferrari’s strong pace, Hamilton said that they are far enough ahead that Mercedes need to think of ways to apply more pressure on them: “We made some changes for FP2 and the car was feeling a lot better, but we still have work to do tonight. The Ferraris are particularly strong in the first sector, we gain some time back in the middle, and I think it looks quite close between us in sector three.”
“They have been strong on the straights all year long, so I had a feeling this weekend might work really well for them. We will have to find a way to apply the pressure this weekend, if we don’t have it on pure pace.”