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Hamilton admits Mercedes have ‘work to do’ after Friday practice at Silverstone as Russell gets set for mixed conditions

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It was a low-key start to the British Grand Prix weekend for Mercedes, with home favourites Lewis Hamilton and George Russell winding up sixth and 10th respectively on Friday’s timesheets.

Fresh from victory in Austria – where Russell took advantage of the clash between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris – the Silver Arrows found themselves more than half a second off the pace at the end of FP2 at Silverstone.

FP2: Norris sets the pace during second practice at Silverstone ahead of Piastri and Perez

Asked for his reflections, and put to him that the pace didn’t quite seem to be there across the day, Hamilton said: “It felt fine. It generally felt good, just not as fast as the guys ahead, like the McLarens.”

He continued: “We have some small tweaks to things [this weekend], but not necessarily upgrades. Every time we add something to the car we are going in the right direction, but the others bring upgrades at the same time.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 05: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG

Hamilton ended the day sixth on the timesheets, with Russell back in 10th

“We were six-and-a-half tenths off in that one. I don’t know if it’s truly, exactly six-tenths, but we’ve got some work to do.”

Russell, meanwhile, was left to ponder what happened between FP1 and FP2 as he also explained why Mercedes opted against any soft-tyre running in the first session.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from second practice for the British Grand Prix

“This morning was really good, to be honest – the car was feeling great,” he commented. “We struggled a bit more this afternoon and need to understand why.

“It got a little bit windier and I don’t think we quite nailed the tyres. I think probably similar competitiveness as we’ve seen in the last few races.”

FP2 Highlights: 2024 British Grand Prix

Regarding the tyre strategy, he added: “I think we’re planning to keep most of the soft tyres for the race, but we also need to see if we use a medium in FP3, instead of the soft. We’re just having a look for strategy for Sunday.”

While Russell is hopeful Mercedes can make progress overnight, he also pointed to the mixed weather forecasts and the potential for more rain to fall after the shower at the end of FP2.

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“As I say, FP1 was really strong, we just need to understand why we lost a little bit of pace in FP2,” stated Russell, who is one of four English drivers on the grid along with Hamilton, Norris and Thai-Brit Alex Albon.

“But I’m sure it’s all going to change again with the conditions. It’s raining now, I hope the fans aren’t getting too wet. I’m just really happy to be here and excited to go racing.”

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