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(Motorsport-Complete.com) – The decisive escape in Q3 is usually the second, but in Barcelona neither Lewis Hamilton nor Valtteri Bottas could improve again in the end. Hamilton actually meant that the first Q3 attempt was solid, but could have been more. Nevertheless, he could not drive a faster time either – 0, 446 seconds he wrestle slower.

Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen

© Motorsport Photos

In Silverstone there was the direct duel between Mercedes and Red Bull zoom Download

Why is a mystery to him. “I’m not sure,” he says. “The track is usually faster, but the track temperature can vary, as can the wind,” said the Briton. “My first lap felt sufficient, but I knew that I could still improve in a few areas.”

But on his second attempt the tires would not have felt the same as before. “The grip is no longer wrestling, so it just wrestles a bad second lap. I continued, but it doesn’t even begin to wrestle as well as the first.”

He was missing more than four tenths of a second in the end on his own time, Bottas wrestle only marginally slower than in the first attempt. The Finn actually thought that he would improve his time. “Because when I crossed the finish line, I was wrestling a tenth of my previous time. But then it dropped to zero,” he puzzles. “I thought the track was better, but don’t wrestle it.”

Shovlin: The difference to Silverstone

In qualifying, however, it was all about which of the two Mercedes drivers would be in front. The race will be a different number. At Mercedes they have already called Max Verstappen as a favorite and said that Red Bull has the faster car. Memories of Silverstone lead to the conclusion, because there the RB 16 got along better adjust the tire. Today it should be hot again.

“The difference is: At Silverstone everything revolved around blistering. This is caused by the heat inside the tire when the rubber twists under Final. Here it shines the blistering is not an effort, “explains Chief Race Engineer Andrew Shovlin. “Partly because the wear is high. And when the tread reduces, it develops less heat.”

“The challenge will be how quickly the rear tires wear out and how well you can protect them . And to have the overheating of the running surfaces under control. Because that costs grip, and with less grip you slip more, used to be in turn leads to higher wear “, Shovlin continues.

If you are faster, you can see after ten laps

To answer seriously However, the team lacks the data on whether Mercedes or Red Bull has the faster car. Only after ten or twelve laps will it be decided who has the faster car and who can better protect the tires.


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Shovlin: “We have to decide whether we should be defensive or if we prefer to build a lead to control the race. Because we don’t know how the race is going to develop, we have to prepare for both eventualities “

” We have to be prepared not to have the best car in the race. If so, there are still opportunities to win the race from our starting position, “he says further. Because Barcelona is a track where overtaking is difficult.

Silverstone would be made better now

“We are not nervous. We accept the fact that although we have set up our car a little differently, the question is essentially the same as at Silverstone and we might suffer in the heat just like there. If that is the case, we have to solve the problem with the drivers, with the steadiness and with the strategy in the best possible way in order to achieve the right result. “


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Mercedes had investigated the problems thoroughly during the week and, according to Shovlin, learned a lot. Whether or not all of the problems have been solved is another matter. “I think if we went back to Silverstone now, we would do the race better. We made good progress there. But it’s the same car and the problems will be similar: too much temperature in the tires. That’s this Challenge.”


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