Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2021

Puzzled Hamilton says “there was no more time in it” after ending practice 11th

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton doubts he could have lapped much quicker after ending Friday’s practice session in Azerbaijan outside of the top 10.

The Mercedes driver set the 11th-quickest time, 1.041 second slower than pace-setter Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. But despite his lack of pace, Hamilton said he was pleased with his performance.

“Honestly I generally had a really good day,” said the world champion. “It was clean, I got all the laps we needed, there was not really any mistakes – I had a lock-up in [first practice].”

Both Mercedes drivers ended second practice outside the top 10, with Bottas a lowly 16th.

“We’re just slow,” Hamilton admitted. “In general I feel like I’m driving well and the car felt better in [first practice]. In this one there was just no more time in it.

“We’re definitely quite a chunk down and I think everyone will be scratching their heads and looking in the data trying to figure out how we can improve.”

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Hamilton said his car felt better over a longer run, but he wasn’t happy with its handling in general. “It didn’t feel good in this session,” he said.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Pictures: Azerbaijan Grand Prix practice day one
“In general I was pushing, I was on the limit, but the car is limited. There’s areas that I should just be quicker but there’s no more grip. But we’ll work at it.

“Of course it’s definitely not easy to be out of the top 10 when we’ve had pace in other places. I don’t really know where we’re at.”

He said it wasn’t clear whether the team had made progress since its difficult race in Monaco two weeks ago. “It’s impossible to say at the moment,” said Hamilton. “Pace-wise we’ve not gone anywhere forwards. If anything, today it looks like we’ve gone backwards.”

“I felt like I generally had a good day, I just wasn’t very fast,” he added.

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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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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15 comments on “Puzzled Hamilton says “there was no more time in it” after ending practice 11th”

  1. Wow that’s very strange and surprising. Still not going to count them out for very high quali positions, while at the same time they sure don’t sound like they’re sandbagging. No doubt they’ll figure some things out, but still…as I say, quite surprising.

    1. It’s very weird, yes, but sorry, I stopped believing whatever hamilton and wolff say, they look very dishonest when assessing performance, especially when it comes to sessions that don’t count like this, hamilton sometimes makes good comments after sessions that matter, like we were faster here, they were faster there.

  2. The DAS was strong in baku last time, one would think. Keeping tires turned on in the ling straight run

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      4th June 2021, 15:29

      They didn’t have DAS in Baku because they only had it in 2020, so I’m not sure what the effect would be.

    2. FreddyVictor
      4th June 2021, 15:32

      IIRC, MB introduced DAS last year, and, I believe they skipped going to Baku last year so …..

  3. Guess who’s back? Back again? Sandbag’s back – tell a friend! Guess who’s back, guess who’s back? Guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      4th June 2021, 15:23

      Two Mercedes Benz go past on the straight, past on the straight, past on the straight.

      1. Round the outside, round the outside

        1. isthatglock21
          5th June 2021, 1:46

          Toto’s spaghetti.

  4. petebaldwin (@)
    4th June 2021, 15:21

    They’ve set the car up for the race by the looks of it – others are faster but are absolutely melting their tyres. Only Red Bull seem to be able to hang on to their tyres so I’m pretty sure Hamilton will make his way towards the podium fairly comfortably on Sunday.

    On the subject of the tyres, we’ve had some colder races where Red Bull struggled to heat up the harder tyres and now we’re at a track where it’s very hot and Pirelli have brought softer tyres than they did last time which is definitely playing into Red Bull’s hands.

  5. It is extremely obvious that they have set up for race day, especially bringing the larger wing. The only one they are fooling is the Anglo press.

  6. Very spooky. What about the other Mercedes powered cars, any word on them? If i didn’t know better i’d say Mercedes was used first practice something different. Possibly gettting some stats in on tire wear under full load…

  7. Left the sand in.

  8. I’m just curious. How much stand can you fit in a Mercedes F1 car?

    1. sand of course. Doh.

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