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Mercedes confirm reason why Hamilton struggled behind Gasly

It was a frustrating afternoon at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes driver unable to overtake Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri for much of the race.

Mercedes have confirmed that Lewis Hamilton's struggles behind Pierre Gasly in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix were the continuation of a problem he had experienced in the Sprint. It was a difficult afternoon for Hamilton at Imola, with much of his race spent behind the AlphaTauri of Gasly as they ran in 13th and 14th position. Despite several attempts to overtake, Hamilton was unable to find a way past the Frenchman. The Briton eventually classified in 13th, having gained a place due to Esteban Ocon's time penalty pushing the Alpine driver down to 14th. Saturday's Sprint race had proved equally tough for Hamilton and Mercedes. George Russell ended the event in 11th, with Hamilton in 14th place.

Hamilton affected by DRS in both races

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director at the Silver Arrows, has explained in a debrief video that Hamilton's troubles in passing Gasly were due to ending up in a Drag Reduction System (DRS) train, as had happened in the Sprint. "It's the same problem that we had in the Sprint race, when you are in what we are calling a DRS train," Shovlin said. "Now, the combined effect of the DRS in Imola plus the tow gives you around half a second of advantage to a car that you are following. "The issue is that, if that car is following another car, and they themselves have DRS, almost all of that advantage is wiped out, and that was principally the issue that Lewis had; that, because Gasly had DRS, they were following almost an identical speed profile down the straight. "Lewis wasn't really able to get alongside, and that was why he spent the whole race rather frustratingly stuck in that position."

Other issues for Mercedes at Imola

This wasn't the only problem that Mercedes faced during the weekend at Imola. The team are continuing to struggle with issues on the W13, including porpoising. They have also experienced difficulties in getting their tyres into the optimum temperature, something that proved challenging in the damp and cool conditions during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. "It is fair to say that we struggled with tyre warm-up this weekend," Shovlin explained. "It was the coldest track we've been to, the first time we've been running wet conditions in the race, and that certainly cost us in qualifying, leading to those fairly disappointing positions starting the Sprint race. "On Sunday, the situation wasn't as bad. Now, whether that's a function of it being a formation lap rather than out lap, the drivers also worked very hard on how much temperature they could get into the tyres during that formation lap. They knew that was going to be a challenge. "But, as you saw with George in particular, he made good progress off the line. It was challenging for the first few corners, but temperatures did come up okay and that contributed to his strong finish [of P4]."

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