Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2023

Mercedes not sure if Melbourne wins are ‘track-specific’ RaceFans

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Mercedes’ best efficiency of the season up to now in Melbourne final week left drivers questioning if that is what the longer term holds.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton completed second and third on the grid in Australia. The elimination of Sergio Perez within the first spherical of qualifying gave them the chance to put simply behind Max Verstappen.

Though the 2 Mercedes drivers overtook Verstappen at the beginning, they have been unable to regulate Pink Bull at race distance and Russell didn’t see the checkered flag as a result of an influence unit failure. However Hamilton beat Fernando Alonso to take second place, the staff’s highest end of the season up to now.

After qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton stated Mercedes’ efficiency, which took the rostrum in Bahrain and Jeddah, was “maybe distinctive to the observe”. Nevertheless, Russell believed it was a product of the enhancements the staff had made to his automobile.

“After all we maximized work [on Saturday], there is not any doubt about it,” stated Russell, “however we had a superb qualifying in Jeddah final week. Within the final race in Jeddah, I could not get my lap up and was solely in a tenth of the P3.

“So no, I do not assume it is essentially observe particular. I believe we have made some enhancements in understanding the automobile.”

He additionally believes that the problem of getting the perfect efficiency from Pirelli tires within the chilly situations of qualifying is a part of the reason.

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“The tires play an enormous position,” he stated. “Whenever you put the tires in place, you make an enormous bounce and I believe even I improved possibly four-tenths on my final drive in Q3.” So sadly, it is all tires, tires, tires.”

After the race weekend, Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison stated the staff had made a slight acquire, boasting a little bit of the others’ performances.

“We did not make massive strides, however we made some progress,” he stated in a video produced by the staff. “We put a small sum within the leaders Pink Bull and we began to signal with the Ferraris and Aston Martin and possibly we began to sneeze somewhat in entrance of them.”

Was it anticipated? Total sure, as a result of truly the extent of efficiency in Australia has not been considerably completely different up to now this yr from the opposite two circuits. Sure, it is completely different from Pink Bull however not a totally completely different animal in comparison with the remainder of the sphere.

“I believe the largest change in Australia was that Pink Bull was a bit extra off form in qualifying in comparison with the remainder of the grid and that is how they closed the grid.” However for those who take a look at the relative pace of our automobile to the Ferrari and our automobile to the Aston Martin, it was shut all yr. Sure, we’re on the marginally higher facet, however it wasn’t seismic.”

Allison stated the staff’s efficiency wasn’t removed from what she thought was doable as we entered the weekend.

“We anticipated to be combating in opposition to Ferrari and Aston Martin and conserving our nostril up is gratifying. However we anticipated to be there. How a lot of the weekend’s total good end result was track-specific and the way a lot got here from what we did, I assume time will inform.

We’ll be going to much more completely different components over the following few weeks and we’ll see if that is a precursor to an total enchancment in our efficiency, as we hoped, or simply about that. “Very uncommon observe situations we noticed in Melbourne this weekend.”

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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