Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Finding a good set-up will never be easy with this car – Hamilton

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ car wasn’t quick ‘out of the box’ at the Circuit de Catalunya, but they have made progress with it.

Mercedes were quickest in both sessions on Friday, Hamilton in the afternoon while team mate Valtteri Bottas topped the first session. Hamilton was nudged down to third-fastest by Max Verstappen in the morning session, after the Red Bull driver set a late fast lap.

Hamilton said he’d had “a good start to the weekend” in Spain. “The track’s awesome and balance is similar to what we’ve had in the last race. So it looks close, but it looks like we’ve got a decent pace today.”

Hamilton isn’t sold on the changes to turn 10
However he said the car hadn’t been quick from the word go. “Oh, no. No, we have to work at it. It never comes out easy and I don’t think with this car it’s ever going to be the case.

“But we understand the car and we know which direction we need to go, balance-wise. So we made some tweaks along the way. I don’t know if it got better for this session necessarily, but there was some findings there so I’m hoping to, once we can analyse these two sessions, hopefully have better set up for tomorrow.”

Today’s running gave drivers their first chance to experience the revised turn 10 at the circuit. Hamilton said he didn’t entirely understand the reason for the changes, which has made turn ten faster.

“It’s not as grippy as the other surface, but I think it will build up,” he said. “I don’t really understand what the point was of the corner.

“I think it’s a lot, lot faster. But I’ve not been in a racing scenario with it [yet], so I can’t tell you if it’s going to be better for racing or not.

“The one before obviously was a dead stop, that was one other spot that you could potentially overtake but the straight was too short. So I don’t know.”

He said possibly the reprofiled corner would help keep cars closer together when they arrived at the pit straight later in the lap. “Hopefully, maybe it will allow us to follow closer maybe through that last section. And if it does, that means we can race better down the main straight.”

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2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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10 comments on “Finding a good set-up will never be easy with this car – Hamilton”

  1. So many massive obstacles in Lewis’s way. Now even a car that cannot be set up. But his fabulous mythical powers lift him above them all.

    1. You couldn’t have perverted his words even a tiny bit more.

      How about stopping the hate and doing something positive?

    2. Yep, like during the races.. watch for it.. he calls a tire problem and then put in the fastest lap.

      1. It’s because the tires DO underperform when they’re graining before they get better in the next few laps. You just hear Lewis’ radio when the tires are in the graining stage. Now, you know.

        1. Maybe an idea to tell Lewis the same.. then he knows what will happen. now it comes as a surprise for him ;)

          1. @erikje Oh, he knows. It’s one of his attempts to influence his rivals’ pot strategies I guess.

          2. its not that simple, sometimes the tyres grain and come back, sometimes that grain and stay grained, and sometimes they grain and blister so its different every time. Ham is justified to comment on his tyre feel. Dont forget, his radio messages are for HIS TEAM not for your enjoyment/entertainment so no one at merc gives a damn what viewers think

  2. Regarding the last paragraph, I doubt because only early-S3 has changed.

  3. Maybe Lewis should ask to Mazepin about having a difficult car to set up.

  4. F2 machinery, Lew?

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