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‘It was a disaster’: Hamilton says Mercedes W13 ‘got worse’ after experimental Friday in Montreal

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Lewis Hamilton didn’t mince words at the end of a tough Friday in Montreal, the seven-time Canadian Grand Prix winner calling the first two practice sessions “a disaster” as Mercedes opted for an experimental day.

Hamilton finished Free Practice 1 in P8, where he ran an experimental flat with a big cut in his W13, as Mercedes tried to control his porpoise and rebound issues, but then was a disappointing P13 in FP2, almost 1.3s off the pace of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

FP2: Verstappen edges Leclerc by 0.081s to sweep Friday practice sessions in Montreal

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Asked how his Friday had been, Hamilton replied: “Pretty much like every Friday for us, trying a lot of different things, an experimental flat on my side that didn’t work out.

“Nothing we do in general with this car seems to work, so we’re trying different setups; me and george [Russell] I went with very different settings on this P2 just to see if one way works and another doesn’t. I’ll wait to hear how he felt, but for me it was a disaster.

“It’s like the car is getting worse, it’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it. I don’t know, we’ll keep working on it, it is what it is. I think this is the car of the year, so we will have to hang in there and work hard to build a better car for next year.”


Hamilton couldn’t find a sweet spot of setup on his W13

Hamilton, the most successful driver in Montreal history, along with Michael Schumacher, added that his experience behind the wheel of the W13 had left him cold at his beloved Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I’ve experienced in my career,” said Hamilton, who took his first pole and win here in 2007. “It’s the worst I’ve ever felt in any car here, so I hope that overnight we can try to make some changes. But fundamentally, it’s just the fundamentals of the car, it is what it is. It’s going to be a struggle.

READ MORE: “I just felt like playing old games,” says Hamilton after retro console video drives the internet crazy

“It’s just a monumental fight all the time to keep him off the wall,” he added. “When it bounces, when the car leaves the ground a lot, and then when it lands, it grabs and goes in different directions, and you’re just trying to catch a car that jumps, jumps, grabs, jumps, grabs. It’s hard, it keeps you on your toes. And there were some big hits today. We have raised the car but it does not make a difference.

“We’ve tried lots and lots of things, we’ve checked them all,” he concluded. “Those don’t work, so we have to go and find something else. And we’re a long way off, but that’s to be expected with this car.”


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Russell felt that Mercedes still had the potential to be the third best team this weekend.

Pessimistic Hamilton may have been, but Russell, P6 and P7 in both sessions, believed that Mercedes could make an overnight move that would put them behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris on performance, despite that Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took a P4 and P5 surprise in FP2.

“We’re pretty far off the pace compared to the two front teams, but there’s also a couple of guys – Fernando, Sebastian – who look very strong as well, so we’ve got work to do,” Russell said. .

READ MORE: How the landscape has changed for Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes since we last visited Montreal in 2019

“In FP2, that was probably the biggest deviation in set-up that Lewis and I have had all season; we went in two very different directions and we can probably find a happy medium between the two.

“So we’re going to work hard, we just have to make sure we qualify ahead of midfield. I think we have a race car that will put us in the third best position in the team, but obviously if we qualify a little bit out of position it could be tricky.

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