Cut To The Race Podcast

This is Where Mercedes are Losing Lap Time

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Mercedes went into the French Grand Prix with high hopes as they brought on new upgrades, but the team still seems to be losing crucial lap time.

Lewis Hamilton qualified in an outstanding third place while George Russell trailed in sixth during Saturday’s qualifying. Despite the good result, the Mercedes garage is still aware that there is more to be done and is not satisfied with their timings.

Following the practice sessions on Friday, George Russell said, “A lot to go over. I think our high-fuel pace was probably better than our low-fuel pace, so we need to make sure we optimise tomorrow to make sure there are no midfield cars between us and the front four and then see how we get on Sunday. But I think Ferrari struggled a bit more than us, Max [Verstappen] looked very fast, as usual, so work to do.”

Lewis Hamilton missed out on the first practice session as Nyck De Vries took the Mercedes out on track. The Brit ran out during the second session and admitted that the heat was not helping at all. Laps are very slow in the process to get some heat on tyres and this did not work to the advantage of Mercedes.

After qualifying on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton outlines where he feels that Mercedes are slow.

The sector where Mercedes lose speed

Lewis Hamilton pointed out that the last sector is making his Mercedes W13 lose a lot of time. The long final sector is not suitable for this year’s Mercedes as the seven-time World Champion explained.

He said, as reported by RacingNews365.com, “In the last lap, my first sector was just as quick as the guys ahead. But then we lose a lot down the straights, I think at least half a second, and then all through that high-speed section in the last few corners. It’s like [Ferrari and Red Bull] have less drag and more downforce on all the corners.

“The last sector was like six, seven tenths or something crazy. A lot of it’s just full throttle. Some of it’s just that drag, but for some reason, they were able to go much quicker through the high-speed corners than us, so I don’t know. We just keep working away.”

What might be the issue for Mercedes is that porpoising is still an underlying issue, just not as effective. They have been struggling to find downforce because of such phenomenon which was brought on by the new floor teams had to put on this year. Can porpoising still be haunting them?

Featured Image Credits: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team Official Twitter

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