Monday, June 24, 2024

Hamilton, Russell Praise Schumacher’s Sim Work amid Improved Spanish GP Form

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell praised the simulator time and effort put in by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team reserve driver Mick Schumacher on Friday evening that helped them completely turn around their Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

Friday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a struggle for Mercedes, with Hamilton worried about even making it into Q3, but a simulator session from Schumacher saw them arrive on Saturday with a much better car and one that was able to challenge for a front row starting spot.

Qualifying did not go the way they wanted, however, as Hamilton and Russell qualified fourth and twelfth respectively, but on Sunday, Mercedes were clearly the second fastest team on track, and they were able to climb through to finish second and third, behind only Max Verstappen.

“Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window,” Hamilton is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “It was very hard to drive, very unpredictable. And then we did some great work overnight.  

“We’ve got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator on Friday night, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday.” 

Team-mate Russell was equally thankful for the work Schumacher put in, which went well beyond midnight on Friday evening to get a set-up on the car that worked in the cooler conditions.

“It probably felt the best it’s ever felt around Barcelona because of the cooler conditions,” Russell added. “Definitely this season, it is probably the best it’s felt, the most together it’s felt. 

“The team’s done a really, really great job. The work that Mick and the simulator team are doing overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it in a good window for the race today.  

“So, we are making strides in the right direction. We just need to make sure, especially into next year, that we hit the ground running because I think we as a team probably develop faster than anybody else.” 

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