Mercedes Miss The Boat On Day 1 In Miami

2024 Miami Grand Prix, Friday - Lewis Hamilton
2024 Miami Grand Prix, Friday - Lewis Hamilton

George Russell will start Saturday’s F1 Sprint in Miami from P11 with team-mate Lewis Hamilton alongside in P12.

A solid FP1 session saw the Mercedes team complete both single lap and long run work on the Medium tyre, before finishing the hour on the Soft compound.

George finished fourth fastest with Lewis just a couple of tenths behind in P7.

Sprint Qualifying would prove a more difficult prospect, however. Neither driver was as happy with the overall balance of the car as they had been earlier in the day, progressing to SQ2 in P6 and P12 respectively.

Despite two efforts in SQ2, both drivers fell agonisingly short of progressing to the final part of the session, missing out by a few hundredths of a second.

George Russell

‘In FP1, the Soft tyre was feeling really good on our car. The pace was looking good but on the Medium compound in Sprint Qualifying, we just couldn’t get the car in the sweet spot. We found ourselves on the wrong side of the cut-off. It was very tight out there, with just a few hundredths of a second making it through to SQ3. We shouldn’t have been that close to being knocked out though and we will work hard this evening to find improvements.

I”ve got no doubt we will move forward in the Sprint tomorrow. We need to get over our qualifying woes as it is always difficult starting on the back foot.’

Lewis Hamilton

‘The car felt really good in FP1, and I was happy with the balance. Unfortunately, in Sprint Qualifying, the balance changed, and the car regressed. We were close to making it through to SQ3, but we were a decent chunk of being at the front. Starting from P12, the Sprint will be tough for us. I am not expecting a huge amount from there as it is not an easy circuit to either follow or overtake at. We will be trying our best to get the car into the points though.’

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

‘We are understandably disappointed with how today unfolded. The team worked through a full programme in FP1 and both drivers were happy with the balance of the car. We opted to make changes that were relatively minor ahead of Sprint Qualifying, aiming to retain that goodness in the afternoon session. Unfortunately, and as we have seen on numerous occasions this year, we were unable to take the step that others were capable of come the session that mattered. The spread of the field was close, but we will not look to make excuses as to why both our cars were knocked out in SQ2. We need to do a better job of keeping the car in the right window and delivering the potential that we are showing in earlier sessions.

‘The aim in the Sprint is to get both cars into the points. We know that will be a challenge from P11 and P12 but we will be fully focused on doing so. We will also be looking to use the Sprint to further our understanding of the car and to put it in a better place for Qualifying and the Grand Prix later in the weekend.’

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