The rain dances have begun at Mercedes

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are both hoping for rain this weekend after a blistering hot day of practice at the Hockenheimring.

All drivers had to manage track temperatures which rose to a sweltering 50 degrees on Friday afternoon for FP2, meaning tyre management was of paramount importance.

Whilst Ferrari seemed to thrive in the hot conditions, finishing 1-2 in both practice sessions, Mercedes do appear to have the comfort of knowing that those conditions are set to be unrepresentative compared to the rest of the weekend.

Cooler temperatures will be a welcome relief for the W10, even though Toto Wolff has claimed that Mercedes are now on top of their cooling issues, while rain and thunderstorms have also been forecast for both qualifying and race day.

Bring it on, say both Mercedes drivers.

“The tyres don’t like the temperature, so very slow out laps and they don’t last very long,” Hamilton said via Crash.Net in Germany, who only finished a tenth behind FP2 leader Charles Leclerc in tough conditions.

“It’s just about trying to keep the tyres in the working range, they are just always a little bit above the range, so always just overheating and that’s been the main issue today. But everyone is in the same boat.

“If it’s going to rain over the weekend this is kind of a waste of a day.

“I don’t think we learned much today with it being so hot. If it’s cooler on the weekend and dry nothing from today really applies.

 “The tyres will come towards us and everybody will be quicker and more comfortable on the track but we will wait and see.”

Then asked if he would like to the heavens to open, Hamilton added: “I love the rain so any rain is always a good thing.”

Bottas, who finished the day P4 and six tenths down on Leclerc, is also hoping for some rain and said the conditions faced on Friday was something of a freak of nature.

“It was extremely hot and I cannot remember driving in these kind of conditions but anyway it is the same for everyone,” Bottas added.

“It makes it more tricky for the drivers and especially for the cars and tyres, lots of overheating, especially in sector three with the corner combinations.

“It becomes so sensitive with the car sliding a little bit more, you pick up 10 degrees of extra tyre temperature and you can lose two-tenths like that. So quite sensitive.

“There could be rain on the way and the same on Sunday so it is going to be a day that we need to be very reactive and dynamic with the weather and the car setup.

“We haven’t really run in the wet so that should be nice. I actually hope for rain as it would be nice to try.”

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