Motor racing-Hamilton expects tough weekend for Mercedes in Hungary
(Reuters) – Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has predicted a tough weekend for Mercedes in Hungary after the team’s experiences backfired in Friday testing.
Hamilton, who damaged the floor of his car in a low fuel run which then hampered his long-term effort, finished only 11th in the second session.
“The car is a bit difficult today. It’s crazy how it swings from track to track,” the Briton, who finished second in France last weekend and a record eight-time winner in Hungary, told Formula 1 television.
“At the moment it’s a bit loose and it’s not doing what we want it to do. Tough day… it’s going to be a tough weekend for sure.
Mercedes said it redesigned the profile of the Halo head protection device and made changes to the rear wing.
The defending champions are yet to win in 12 races this season but looked hopeful of closing the gap to leaders Red Bull and Ferrari, with the latter team leading both sessions on Friday.
“We came in wanting to do some experimentation with the car and I think the ones we did in FP2 with both (drivers) set us back,” Andrew Shovlin, director of track engineering, told Reuters. Sky Sports television.
“In the first session we seemed a bit stronger, the car was more consistent. There are a couple of things that I’m pretty sure we’re going to cancel overnight because it didn’t have the awesome.
“I think some of the configuration changes we took the wrong way. We are here to learn, we do not always understand them so that the car goes faster.
The forecast for qualifying at the Hungaroring calls for rain, with temperatures dropping for Sunday’s race from hot conditions on Friday.
“Sunday’s conditions are going to be drastically different, so we’ve tried quite a few things with the car, using it a bit like a practice session,” said Hamilton team-mate George Russell.
“You can try to optimize everything for today, but that’s no use for the rest of the weekend. So, even though it was a very difficult day, I think it was a productive day.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)