Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2022

Hamilton and Russell puzzled as Mercedes go “a lot slower” in second practice

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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The Mercedes drivers were surprised by the step backwards the team appeared to take between today’s two practice sessions at Monza.

The pair ended the first practice session third and fourth, with only the Ferrari drivers ahead of them. But having been within half a second of the pace-setters in the opening session, the pair were seven-tenths off later in the day.

Lewis Hamilton, who ended second practice in eighth place, 0.839s slower than Carlos Sainz Jnr, said the loss in performance was unexpected given the minor changes the team made.

“We made some set-up changes, nothing major, but we went a lot slower somehow,” he said in an interview supplied by his team. “Or they went a lot quicker. [We were] giving it everything out there, it just doesn’t feel particularly quick.”

Hamilton acknowledged the team had “low deployment” of the electrical energy from their power unit. George Russell, who reported erratic deployment during the second session, believes Ferrari may have an advantage in this area.

“It was a blip during the session, which made things worse,” he said. “But generally speaking we’re lacking a bit of deployment.

“I think we’re similar to Red Bull but Ferrari seemed to have the upper hand in terms of deployment. So that may make things trickier in a race scenario as they’ve got a bit more in the locker to play with. It’s going to be something we’re going to have to deal with.

Russell admitted it had been “a bit of a strange day” after slipping to fifth place in second practice. “FP1 was looking pretty strong but then Ferrari and Red Bull seemingly have taken a step forward compared to us or maybe we’ve taken a step back as we were obviously behind the McLaren in FP2. So a bit of work to do tonight to understand that.”

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2022 Italian 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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14 comments on “Hamilton and Russell puzzled as Mercedes go “a lot slower” in second practice”

  1. Mercedes gained only 0.3 between FP1 to FP2 but the others gained a lot more as always has been the case this season. I don’t know what he expected really.

  2. I just hate to see that axis-of-roll angle on this car. It’s so obvious from the photo above, but that’s their choice not mine. I hope they’re not puzzled by that.

    1. Is that not just bouncing over the kerbs? Impossible to tell from a still image really.

  3. Time to ditch this concept. Exposed back wheel csusing drag? PU not good enough compared to Honda.. whatever it is, they need a design they can understand and work with.

    1. Anyone who has ever skated on ice, or walked along the top of a wall for that matter, will know you need to put your arms out to help you balance, especially going around corners. To me it always seemed strange that the Merc was such a narrow design and I thought surely that must make it harder to balance out the forces than on a car with a wider body. I figured the narrow body must be to make them like a rocket down the straights but they don’t seem to win out there either. I’m no engineer so that’s just a very simplistic view.

  4. Mercedes complaining “low deployment” of the electrical energy from their power unit… been hearing this since 2021, that’s why now the Honda and Ferrari PU were ahead!

  5. I think Mercedes are doing their usual thing of experimenting in the early practices before they settle on a race setup for qualifying. No prizes for guessing which areas they are experimenting on. I’m just a bit surprised they choose this track for a new engine. I suppose the track offers a better chance of cover takes with its long straights, all the same, it is a power-hungry track.

  6. I thought they said they finally understand it? With the same person behind this mess, it will be never

  7. There is so much puzzling going on at Mercedes this year, my granny is getting jealous.

  8. Adrian Newey is a genius as it comes to aero car design. Coupled with the ‘very angry’ Honda engine, there’s no way for any other competitors to top that. And typically, (nothing to do with Newey or the engine), Red-bull has always favoured a ‘one driver’ perfect set-up. Already this getting more boring than the ‘Vettel’ era – Newey’s aero team and Honda (110% involved) makes this team, at least the ‘chosen one’ unbeatable. (for this whole season) New regulations ? Come on. RB was already miles ahead with their 2022 car before the fake end of 2021 when there was competition. Now there is none. I don’t even watch F1 live anymore, because I know who will ‘win’. – Even in the ‘super 2014’ year MB lost races in battles. Just call it off and crown MV WDC now. (more than 100 points between ‘equal’ partners is silly – never seen this before) It has nothing to do with Adrian, nor Honda, it’s a pure RB tradition. This season is beyond futile.

    1. @Jan:
      Okay, bye!

    2. Can I have your stuff?

    3. You have some serious issues. I can only give you two pieces of advise, learn what the term relativize mean and second: please visit a doctor.

  9. @jan while i agree with you almost all of what you said.such is F1. As has been for many decades. While it ia about the championships its also alot to do with the team effort to build faster better more efficient cars. And also drivers driving on the limit. F1 and racing is not just about who comes first. But how do the teams develop. Its drama on a technical level. I will still watch F1 even if my favorite team or driver is doing bad.because 1st im an f1 fan. Then team fan. Then driver fan. Sadly that order has gotten lost over the years.

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