Mercedes W10, Suzuka, 2019

Bottas praises Mercedes upgrades after leading Friday practice

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In the round-up: Valtteri Bottas said he could feel the benefit from Mercedes’ latest upgrade after leading both practice sessions on Friday at Suzuka.


What they say

Mercedes are running new sidepod wings at Suzuka, which Bottas believes are already making a noticeable difference.

We still need to remember it’s only under practice.

But I do feel still the gains we’ve made with the car, so that’s always a very nice feeling. We can just push the car even further than before.

I think we need to focus on ourselves and knowing that’s still Sunday is going to be close with the quali and race.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Does Mattia Binotto need to take a firmer line with his drivers?

It all comes down to team leadership and controlling your drivers.

In ‘Multi-21’ we got from Christian Horner “come on Seb, this is silly” – hardly great team control.

At the same time Nico Rosberg was asking to overtake Lewis, on numerous times Ross Brawn said no, hold position. When asked if it annoyed him Nico kept asking his response was “No, I would be annoyed if he stopped asking”

Nothing against Binotto, he seems to have bring some harmony to Ferrari but not sure he is a strong leader when he needs to be? Interesting to see how this one plays out.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Bottas praises Mercedes upgrades after leading Friday practice”

  1. Anyone else think the headline pic was of the car in a state of disassembly with a pile of panels and attachments alongside ? First glance of course. Still, it’s easy to see where all the money goes, each of those bits and bobs is the final (so far) one of many that were less good (Haas excepted).

    1. @hohum Lol how incredibly complex, eh? A perfect example of how these cars are way too clean air dependent and need changing. Simplifying.

  2. Until I had a longer look at it, I though this was the result of a crash … funny, I don’t remember Bottas stuffing it.
    This is the sort of stuff that they tried to wipe out a couple of years ago. So much for regulation getting them what they think they want.
    With the advent of 3-D Printing, this sort of development is easier, not necessarily cheaper, just easier and quicker.
    One of the premier designers mentioned back in the Turbo era (the first one) that if you gave a driver an increase in down-force, he would go out and drive like a hero. Seems to be working. Sunday should be fun.

  3. Now we have proof that Mercedes have been sandbagging all the time! :)

    1. I knew that would cause a flood of jokes;)

  4. Man Merc are something else i genuinely reckon this years car is as good as Redbull in terms of downforce created they have got a monster chassis if this upgrade is as big as it looks. What a rise for them they had ok moments before 2014 with wins here and there but they really have progressed well with not having a monster engine. Hopefully Merc can still get a few wins next year then Lewis should try something new if he breaks Schumi’s win record in 2020 even do a swap with Max at RedBull.

    It would be awesome to win with 3 different teams, you have to think if Honda stay in F1 and RedBull who have built atleast top 2 chassis for 10 years plus then they will be the car to go to perhaps, i trust them far more on that front than Ferrari. Max is getting frustrated and i cannot see Lewis wanting to risk his reputation vs Max and it would be unfair anyway Lewis would be in his mid 30’s but if he won well he would basically be the GOAT for me he would literally be the best driver in his generation and the next generation if he beat Leclerc or Ves in same car. That would be like 30 years plus of F1 he was better than anyone.

    Or lets hope Vettel joins Merc in 2021 so we can see how Hamilton makes lighter work of Vettel than even Rosberg, i always believe to this day Rosberg could beat Vettel, the only teammate Hamilton has had in F1 who actually worried me a little. Rosberg was very underrated by alot of people.

  5. Watching the ferrari in s1, it is clear that that car has a front end unlike in pre-season testing. I don’t know if it is done and dusted, they were favourites, they still are, merc has always had the better car. Just because merc ran Q modes on friday doesn’t change a thing.

  6. Praise the sandbags. BTW, is that Michael Masi walking towards the Mercedes garage?

    1. I’m fairly positive he could be, but a bit difficult to entirely tell from that angle.

  7. That is pretty much the opposite of what I was expecting from Honda.
    It would be a shame to lose them :(

    1. @nullapax Personally I don’t think Honda are going anywhere soon, nor do I think they are basing a whole lot on whether or not Max wins this weekend. I think they know that practically speaking they are not suddenly at Merc/Ferrari level other than at tracks that favour the RBR chassis better.

      While I’m sure demand for electric is growing, I think it is still a small minority of people that can use electric vehicles as their range and recharge time is simply too impractical for too many people. I think hybrid technology is here for quite a while yet, as it makes too much sense to be able to recharge, or keep charged, batteries while on the fly. I envision both ICE’s getting more efficient and therefore smaller and smaller yet nice and powerful, but very miserly on gas, along with better and better batteries on board such that cars will still need to burn fossil fuel but less and less, thus keeping up the practicality wrt range and recharge/refuel time that people need.

  8. Mercedes’ sandbags have arrived.


    Tyre blankets are here to stay! Why did it take them so long to realize it is the only way to go with such tyres?!?!

    1. Was only able to read the two lines presented on the topic and not open the page, but note that it implies the blankets are indeed not here to stay.

      Why did it take them so long? Not sure but I’ll speculate that they are still sussing out with Pirelli what the tires will be like and don’t want to make too many changes too quickly. We do know that the tires will inevitably be quite different than now, not just because of the 18” rims but because the cars will be totally different.

  9. @keithcollantine why do you say using mph is dumbing-down? It’s merely a local preference, kph means nothing to brits or americans. I agree it’s cluttered, but i’d rather see both than just kph, or 2 broadcasts for local needs.

    1. I agree. Implying that people who prefer MPH are dumb is insulting.

      1. I kind of get the dumbing-down comment since whether they use Imperial or Metric we can figure it out from one or the other, and don’t need both, however, I don’t believe for a second that anyone will think this harms F1’s image to show both. They want to grow the sport in the US and as pointed out above Americans don’t do metric.

        Here in Canada, back in my school days in the 70’s/80’s, was when we converted from Imperial to Metric, so I’m well versed in both, or at least well versed in going back and forth. But we (or at least I) actually still use both for different things. Car speed is in KPH, but I still relate fuel economy better in miles per gallon. And I do a person’s height better in feet and inches and still find it slightly challenging to picture exactly how tall a person who is 1.73 metres is. I’m pretty sure carpenters here in Canada stuck with feet and inches even after the change to metric years ago.

        1. Imperial will probably stay in construction fo a long time because it is easy to divide into 3rds, quarters, etc on the fly. Whoever invented imperial units was more than a generational genius.

        2. @robbie, Hi, I have similar experience here in Oz, just curious though, re mpg, in Canada which gallon do you use, US or UK ?

          1. @hohum It would be the UK gallon as we are tied to the British monarchy. The US gallon is smaller.

          2. @Robbie, thanks, must be confusing in those border cities.

        3. Even though I live in a “metric” world, I know plenty about imperial system from movies, shows like Top Gear and watching american sports like the NBA.
          But one I could never figure out and understand if it’s good or bad is miles to the gallon figures. We express fuel economy like how many liters it takes to do 100KM and when someone asks my cars fuel economy I just say 7.5. No need to add any weird words like “miles” or “gallon” after it.
          Think of it this way: When you’re bragging to someone about something, you say “My stuff it’s 10 times, 100 times better than your stuff”. That’s the metric system: everything is a multiplier of 10, 100, 1000. Easy to visualize.

          1. @crystakke, fun fact ; One IMPERIAL gallon of water weighs ten pounds.

            For us older folks who grew up with miles per gallon, it was very simple to know you would need 1 gallon of fuel to a place 20 miles away and come back (total 40 miles) in your 40mpg Mini, or 4 gallons in your 10mpg V8, so when I read a UK road test that tells me a diesel sedan gets 50mpg and the petrol gets 40mpg it’s easily compared to all the cars I’ve ever owned, but my current 11l. per 100km. car needs a complex calculation into mpg to decide if that’s good or bad for a large, luxurious, fairly fast 2+2 coupe.

    2. @keithcollantine, having lived in Europe for a couple of years I could never make the adjustment from MPH to KPH during everyday life. I always had to convert back to MPH as a reference even though I was only 20 at the time as was so ingrained.

      Don’t really think it clutters the graphics tbh, though agree that coming up with localised feeds should not be outside the wits of a leading global media company!!

Comments are closed.