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Hamilton and Russell offer divided opinions after Australian practice

With the Mercedes drivers trying a variety of setups to combat the poor-performing W14, Lewis Hamilton was left unhappy with the setup direction of his car, whilst George Russell had an opposing view.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Australian GP 2023 Firday
To news overview © XPBimages

The Mercedes Formula 1 drivers offered a mixed response to their Australian GP practice efforts, with Lewis Hamilton unhappy with the car's setup at the end of Friday.

Mercedes head into the Melbourne weekend looking to salvage some pace from the underperforming W14, with the team offering minimal expectations of a turnaround.

Lewis Hamilton had raised some hopes by finishing second in the opening free practice session, but the seven-time World Champion was unable generate a competitive lap in FP2 before the rain shower.

Mercedes were seen making extensive setup changes to Hamilton's car in FP2, with the Briton saying after the session that he was unsatisfied with their setup direction.

"This morning was good. This afternoon wasn't so good," Hamilton summarised to media.

"It felt a little bit better this morning. We made some changes, they didn't work, so we'll revise those tonight, and then it rained off. So it wasn't the greatest of sessions.

"I don't think we'll be competing against the Red Bulls. It'll just be about trying to see if we can get up as high as possible. So I think we've got pace to be around fifth [place] area, same as the last race."

Russell appeared to be happier with the setup direction on his W14, and believed that his car had improved over the course of Friday.

"We just made a lot of setup changes over the break, we've been doing some good steps recently, we've been changing quite a few things and getting the car into a nice window as the weekend progresses," commented Russell to media.

"That's quite satisfying sat in the drivers seat, knowing that the car feels better and as a team we've contributed towards that. We'll see how it translates into tomorrow, but in FP1 I wasn't very happy with the car and in FP2 I was really happy."

Despite the optimism, when asked about Hamilton's 'P5' prediction, Russell ultimately agreed with the verdict: "Yeah, I'd say that's a fair assessment.

"I think if we really pull everything together, then the third row, probably between P5 and P8, I think is what we've been looking at the moment."

F1 2023 Australian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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