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Hamilton concerned Mercedes struggles "not much different" to Baku and Monaco

Hamilton concerned Mercedes struggles "not much different" to Baku and Monaco

F1 News

Hamilton concerned Mercedes struggles "not much different" to Baku and Monaco

Hamilton concerned Mercedes struggles "not much different" to Baku and Monaco

Lewis Hamilton claimed the feeling within his Mercedes in France was "not much different" to the struggles he encountered in Monaco and Baku.

The seven-time F1 champion finished Friday's running at the French Grand Prix third quickest on the timesheet, two-tenths of a second behind title-leading Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

Sandwiched in between was team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with the duo running each other's chassis from previous races, albeit something Hamilton insisted made no difference to his performance.

After complaining midway through second practice that "there's something not right with the car," the British driver said his issues felt like they had carried over from the two-race swing on street circuits from which he scored just seven points.

Asked how the car felt, he replied: "Not much different to be honest, even though the position is quite a bit different to Monaco and Baku but quite troubled this weekend, probably for everyone.

"I don't know if it is the track surface or it is the temperature or these inflated tyres - they have put the pressures up higher than ever before, one of the highest - so it is difficult to say but we are all sliding around. It is a struggle out there, I think for everyone."

On what could be done before qualifying, Hamilton added: "I am looking at every option, we have made lots of changes.

"We will probably do a lot of analysis again tonight with the hope that it's going to be better tomorrow but we won't know until we get back out tomorrow.

"But as I said, the times don't look terrible, we were close up at the front so at least we are in the battle."

Hamilton says tyres "all feel pretty bad"

Pirelli has nominated the mid-range of its tyre options for this weekend's running at Paul Ricard, with the tyre pressures bumped up after the failures in the preceding Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Coupled with high winds and surface temperatures that peaked at 48.3 degrees centigrade in FP2, grip was scarce on Friday afternoon and Hamilton suggested drivers may even use hard tyres during qualifying.

Asked if the medium tyres would be the compound of choice in Q2, Hamilton replied: "They all feel pretty bad but I think the hard is the better feeling one because it seems quite a heavy-duty with the temperatures here so the softer you go the worse it feels.

"I would imagine the hard is going to be the one that most people can't wait to get onto but I am not sure which tyre is quickest.

"The soft tyre seems to run out halfway through the lap and then the medium tyre I think is a little bit more resilient but it doesn't give you a huge amount of grip so we shall see."

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