Mercedes drivers perplexed by improvements after strong Miami GP practice

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Both Mercedes drivers admitted their improved pace was a bit of a mystery after a strong showing in Miami Grand Prix practice.

George Russell finished P2 and then fastest in the two sessions on the new street circuit around Hard Rock Stadium, albeit with red flags disrupting FP2.

Mercedes has brought their first upgrades to this weekend's race in new front and rear wings, but Russell believes another factor was crucial in the team finding a strong performance window.

“We don’t really understand it to be honest, why we sort of hit the ground running,” he said.

Also Read:

“We always knew ahead of this weekend that the conditions should suit us better because we have been struggling a lot with tyre warm-up. 

“This is the first real hot race of the season, so for sure that’s played a big factor. The car is working well, but it’s only Friday, so not getting too carried away.

"Although it's probably been the most productive Friday we've had this season in terms of learning."

Mercedes' main problem this season has been the bouncing on the straights, and though that issue hasn't gone away, Russell suggested that it wasn't limiting performance quite as much as before.

"We know that the porpoising will always be there but maybe it's working at a lower range compared to where we were previously," he said.

"You generally have races that go in your favour and some that go against you - Imola obviously wasn't a strong circuit for us but from what we've seen so far, the car seems to work well around Miami."

Teammate Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest in Practice 2, but the seven-time world champion was more cautious about any potential gains on the frontrunners.

“It’s just practice, so everyone’s doing something different in practice, I don’t think everyone’s shown their true pace,” he said.  

"The car feels similar to me. I think we seem to be quicker here and later on they were explaining to us we definitely have improved in some way. 

“I’m not sure where that is, but there are definitely positive elements to take from today.

“I’m still struggling with the car, George looked great out there, but we’re trying a lot of different things but we’ll converge and hopefully improve.”