Mercedes has chosen the first choice of formula 1 in China: thin. By just one thousand 07 seconds, the silver arrows in Shanghai on Friday were faster than Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton got the best time in both sessions, but Valtteri Bottas was also not far away: With 0033 seconds left, he was ranked three.
Thus the picture was different from last time in Bahrain, where Ferrari was vocal in training. But conditions in Sachir were also much warmer than in China, where the thermometer just scratched the 20-degree mark and there was some Nieselregen, which Mercedes met today. If we put these windbreakers on, we are pretty fast,”says sports director Toto Wolff in an interview with”n-tv”.
The silver arrow plays in the cards, that it should not get warmer in the days to come. Mercedes can’t cope with the softer tyres at higher temperatures. On Friday the weather made it possible.
The long runs of the top three teams were quite close together in the training, as the times tell. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were on average with the ultrasound at 1:39,0 minutes, Daniel Ricciardo at 1:39,1 minutes and Valtteri Bottas at 1:39,2 minutes.
Beware of Red Bull
“Red Bull was really fast on the long runs,” Hamilton has to admit, but he says, “It’s good, Reliable data on a second long run is not available thanks to the rain at the end of the session, so this remains the only comparison for the time being. Ferrari was away with Sebastian Vettel for a while, but was able to follow the Mercedes times over a lap.
For Sunday the picture is still relatively open, because the ultra-often apart from the start of the race should not actually be the preferred tyre. According to Hamilton, the performance of the tyre is relatively close to each other, but the softest tyre is much faster to dismantle.
“We won’t see long stings in the race with it,” says Valtteri Bottas. “We won’t see long stings in the race.” But the medium felt quite robust at – and we could drive fairly constant lap times.”
The Finnish had picked up the hardest mix, teammate Hamilton tried the soft mix. According to him, this is probably the best mix for the race, even if he doesn’t want to say much about it yet, as you could only drive a few laps with it.
Balance problems in the first training
For tomorrow Mercedes wants to improve again strongly as usual. On Friday you were able to get the most important information and completed the training positively.” It was a good day,”Hamilton nods, but in the afternoon he also overshot his target a few times. Even team-mates Bottas had strong balance problems, especially during the first training. Even though the car was fast, it was not easy to drive,”he says. But in the second section it got better.
For tomorrow it will now be necessary to tickle the best possible qualifying performance from the car. The weather could give a rash, but no matter how it turns out: you expect a close fight with Ferrari and Red Bull, where it could come down to little things.” No one on the team can have a bad day,”Hamilton says. If you’ve got him, don’t show up at all! We want to get to the point.”
“It is clear that the Pace of Red Bull, Ferrari and us are very close together,”also says race engineer Andrew Shovlin,”and they will improve their cars as always overnight. Accordingly, as usual, we will work carefully and try to get the last bit of performance out.”