Hamilton: Mercedes F1 car is “night and day different” compared to US GP

Hamilton:
Mercedes F1 car ‘day and night different’ compared to US GP Austin..
Just five days after finishing second behind Max Verstappen at COTA, Hamilton finished 11th in FP1 and seventh in FP2, 0..338 seconds behind leading driver Red Bull on a tight track..
His teammate George Russell finished 10th in FP2, after handing his car over to young Mercedes driver Frederik Vesti in the first practice session..
After some changes during the break, Hamilton and Russell used different settings in the final practice session and both were unhappy with the performance..
“Not great,” Hamilton said when asked about his Friday.. “Yeah, doubtful – no doubt, but it’s not the best.. Today was difficult in the car..
“The car feels day and night different from last week.. I really don’t know what to say..
“You never know what you’ll get with this product.. Some days, she’s great, and some days, she’s not.. It’s hard to extract the lap..”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, speaks to an engineer
Hamilton remains confident that the car can be improved for Saturday..
“I think there is definitely performance there,” he said.. “It’s just trying to extract it, and it’s quite peaky this weekend, maybe just with the aero map or whatever it may be.. So we’re going to work on it overnight..
“But it certainly wasn’t a fun day compared to FP1 in Austin.. And yes, we are a little behind, but hopefully overnight we can find something and tomorrow [Saturday], maybe the car will be more pleasant to drive.. »
When asked how much could be extracted from the car, he said:
“I’m not sure.. Again, you never know what will happen to this car.. And maybe- we will be making changes and upgrades
“I think there’s definitely a performance there that’s closer and could be in the top three..
“But we need to find a way to make it easier to extract that performance.. So that’s what we’re going to do tonight..”
Russell, who had to play catch-up after missing out on FP1, noted that there were many factors that led to the disappointing performance.. Like Hamilton, he believed the car could be improved overnight..
“It was a bit of a difficult session, there was rain here and there, we had prototype Pirelli tires and it was a very tight field,” he said..
“But I think there’s potential, I think we’ve got a lot to do in one night, it’s very stressful..
“Especially with the surprise cars, you see some cars in the top 10 that we didn’t expect, but we feel like we have a lot of room for improvement.. But we also feel like we also have the opportunity to do that..”
Russell believes a difficult Friday kept the team on track for Saturday..
“I think maybe we went in the wrong window today,” he said.. “Lewis and I are using two different setups and we’re probably both not in the right window, which gives us an indication that maybe between those two setups is the right place..
“At that time, having a negative car and not seeing its best days was really frustrating.. But through those tough times, you’ll probably learn more when the car is in a better place.. So I guess that’s the point of practice..
He added:
“Of course we want to fight for pole position, Max [Verstappen] is always half a step away

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