Hamilton and Russell say Mercedes have 'work to do' despite topping the timesheets during FP2 in Montreal
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both feel they have work to do ahead of the weekend's action in Canada, despite topping the timesheets in Friday's second practice session.
Hamilton was the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers, as the seven-time winner at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve set the quickest time of the day, with a 1m 13.718s, on his qualifying simulation run during the extended FP2 – after the first session featured only a minimal amount of running due to a CCTV issue at track.
When reflecting on his first day of running behind the wheel in Montreal, Hamilton admitted that while the car “didn’t feel bad” there were things he felt needed to be addressed, including dealing with the bumpy nature of the circuit.
“Not the greatest, but not the worst by far,” said Hamilton when asked how it felt in the car. “So, as I said, it’s feeling pretty decent, it’s just bumpy and I think everyone’s having the struggles with the bumps.
“So, I think we’ve just got to improve our ride control and our balance through the corners, and then I think we’ll be alright.”
He added: “I love driving this track, it’s mega. From the moment you leave the pit lane, you’re like ‘yeah, this is wicked’. The car didn’t feel bad, but I think we’ve definitely got some work to do.
Mercedes brought their major upgrade package in Monaco two races ago and after a double podium outing last time out in Barcelona, Hamilton revealed he can feel the improvements in the car out on track.
“Well, I can only base it off comparing to last year and it’s massively better than last year,” said Hamilton, when asked if Mercedes have taken a step forward.
“The rear end is not necessarily, but overall, the car is just a step forwards and I’m definitely feeling the improvements we felt in Monaco, I’m feeling them here.”
Russell, on the other hand, finished just 0.027s off Hamilton’s quickest time and, while he was happy with the team’s effort, he was not reading too much into the timesheets, with the Briton not expecting to be that high come qualifying on Saturday.
“It was a reasonably productive session," said Russell. "I don’t think we can read much into the timings. Obviously, we did our low fuel qualifying prep towards the end of the session when the track was quicker.
“Between Barcelona and here, they are two totally different circuits. Barcelona is a super smooth high-speed circuit, here it’s incredibly bumpy.
“But I do think the upgrades we brought to the car in Barcelona have helped the limitations we probably would have had more of with the old specification of car. We need to find out where we are going to be.
“I think we are still on the tail end especially in qualifying pace compared to Ferrari and Aston Martin, they might be even. Valtteri looked quick, maybe an Alpine.
“But we always know it comes to us on Sunday, so that’s when it’s going to matter. It looks to be wet tomorrow, let’s see what it brings.”