It was an off-day for both Mercedes drivers as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled with the balance of the W08.
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a very difficult day. I’ve been struggling with the car today, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance. We’re hoping that we’re able to find our bearings overnight and regroup for tomorrow.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Those were obviously tricky practice sessions. We had quite limited running because of the rain in the morning. I also had a bit of an off in FP2 that cost us some time, we lost a few laps because of that. We’re definitely lacking some performance, it seems like Ferrari and Red Bull are very strong, so we have some work to do if we want to be on the front row tomorrow. The car balance itself didn’t feel too bad; it’s just a question of overall grip. The key area we are going to need to focus on tonight will be getting the maximum out of the tyres over one lap.”
Sergio Perez: “All the interruptions, both this morning and this afternoon, meant it wasn’t an ideal day. We missed out on part of our programme so we couldn’t prepare as well as we would have liked. The positive is that the pace of the car seems to be there. I am pretty happy with the balance up to now, but there is always some improvement to be found.”
Esteban Ocon: “It was a strange day. There was nothing we could do about the weather this morning and in the afternoon the weird incident to Grosjean cost us all some track time. Despite the interruptions, we still managed to complete some good mileage. The car feels quite nice at the moment and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Driving the new cars around here is very enjoyable: they are just so fast around the quick corners. The weather tomorrow will play a big part, but for me it doesn’t matter if it’s wet or dry. The rain would probably give us some more opportunities, but we have good pace in the dry so I think we will be competitive either way.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “The afternoon session was ok; we were trying to learn as much as we can in a short amount of time. We weren’t able to get that many laps in and obviously the red flag cost us a bit of time as well. We have some work to do on balance overnight but we’ll get there for tomorrow.”
Jolyon Palmer: “I’m quite happy with what we accomplished today. I think we are in a reasonable place but we definitively have some work to do on the car – but that’s somewhat encouraging because the pace wasn’t so bad. We need focus on balance with the Wet tyres, we’ll work on it and I’m sure we’ll get them working for us.”