Abu Dhabi GP: Mercedes start fast but Lewis Hamilton vows to improve
Mercedes have established themselves as firm favourites to get a F1 2019 rod after a near-perfect start to the season in Abu Dhabi’s weekend.
However, Lewis Hamilton admits he’s to upgrade after fighting to discover his”rhythm” before leading his club’s qualifying bill in pace-setter Valtteri Bottas’ lack – with a different near three-team struggle for pole called on Saturday.
P2: Bottas leads Merc one-two before Grosjean conflict
When is Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying on Saturday?
Sky F1 pundits pick their minutes of 2019
Even though they have wrapped up both 2019 titles, Mercedes have secured one rod in a very aggressive two races, with Ferrari and lately Red Bull outpacing the world winners.
Friday at Yas Marina provided the ideal tonic for the Silver Arrows since they topped either sessions, although it was Bottas, who has a new engine and a beginning, and not.
Bottas appreciated a dominant lead supporting him it had been closer but during Friday in Practice Two when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were divided by a tenth, with Max Verstappen not much behind at the Red Bull.
“I think we have got a fantastic struggle on our hands here between Mercedes and Ferrari,” called Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok.
“I wouldn’t yet dismiss Verstappen.”
With Bottas improbable to complete all qualifying in order to best prepare for its race,” Hamilton, who was second in P1 before beating Leclerc by just 0.008so in P2, is set to take Mercedes’ hopes for a last 2019 pole alone.
And it is reasonable to say the F1 champion was not completely pleased with his afternoon.
“A bit of an unusual Friday to be truthful,” explained Hamilton. “Just getting to the rhythm wasn’t really possible for me now, but you have your good and bad days.
“But the car still feels great, there’s places where we can work on and there is definitely places where I’d say I can work independently.
“I will simply sit down tonight and make sure I get that straight for tomorrow”
Hamilton also promised he sensed”inconsistent” because he seemed to”research” and”unlock” that the Mercedes W10 in a try to produce a headstart to 2020.
“I’m really pushing the vehicle to a different place in these two races, simply to research,” he explained. “I’m really trying to see whether there is anywhere else where I could exploit the tyres. But that’s making it a tiny bit more inconsistent and not, and easy concerning my mode.
“It is making a little bit more difficult than it actually needs to be. But I feel that I want to go through this process to find out if I could etch just a bit more as time goes by .”
Hamilton added:”I’m definitely hoping to recreate something, and use some different tools that I haven’t actually touched through the year as they haven’t worked previously. But see and I’m just attempting to research whether or not I could make them do the job.
“it is a really pre-emptive notion process for next year. Though the next year’s car is going to be different, there is going to be.
“It doesn’t really matter to me that I’m not quickest at the present time, it is really just an exploratory experience, attempting to see if there’s something much better there.
“Hopefully I can find the car right back to where it has to be, and hopefully I’ll be where I want to be to get the task finished.”
Ferrari, that have six poles in eight races as the summer break, would appear to be Mercedes’ largest danger in qualifying.
“P2 was pretty positive, apart from the race rate in the soft where we can do better,” said Leclerc. “We need to work quite a bit about this. Nevertheless, the hard [tyre] race speed was very powerful so that’s a fantastic thing.”
However, while Leclerc and Vettel were closer to their rivals in P2 than their afternoon surely was not trouble-free as both drivers made contact with all the wall.
While Leclerc hit exactly the identical barrier onto a flying lap in the later floodlit session, vettel span and crashed at P1.
“The whole third business is really hard since it is overheating from the trunk [tyres] but particularly this corner, once you go broad you eliminate a whole lot of grip,” claimed Leclerc. “I’ve been surprised by that.”
Vettel continued:”I did not expect to actually spin. I understood that going in I’d have to grab the rear and it did get the job done. It was somewhat unfortunate, so there clearly was no damage other than the rim. So got lucky.”