New side legs, new floor and new suspension. Mercedes has already delivered plenty of updates in Monaco, but the principality’s street circuit isn’t immediately the ideal backdrop for seeing results.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell breathed a sigh of relief in Barcelona. With P2 and P3 for the silver arrow, it looks like they are now on the right track in Brackley.
However, it could have been very different, because during the Catalan training, the Mercedes duo did not find the right balance. Even Hamilton feared he would not make it past Q3 during qualifying.
But due to test driver Mick Schumacher’s night work in the simulator, the code could still have been cracked at the factory. This perfect setup resulted in a dual platform.
“Friday was very difficult, the car was very unpredictable,” said Hamilton. “Mick did a great job, he put us on the right track on Saturday.”
George Russell, who moved from twelfth to third, also paid tribute to Schumacher. “It was our best performance of the season. Mick stayed in the simulator until after midnight to find the right settings for the race.”
After a mediocre start to the season, this was the hoped-for result that the Mercedes engineers needed. According to team boss Toto Wolff, the team needed a wake-up call to radically change course.
“We needed that shock to understand that we’re not really moving forward,” he said. “We decided to go in a completely different direction and changed a lot of things. It was very risky, but now we have a good racing car.”
Hamilton agrees, too. “Maybe we were hoping we could take a step a little bigger, but we’re happy with the progress. We’ve worked very hard to achieve this result.”
Isn’t the double podium the result of a bad day for Ferrari and Aston Martin? “I don’t look at it that way,” Hamilton concluded. “I’d rather see the glass half full than half empty. We’ve done a better job as a team.”
In any case, Mercedes jumps past Aston Martin to take second place in the Constructors’ Championship. But whether he will also be able to threaten Red Bull this season remains to be seen.
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