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F1 | French GP | Mercedes drivers after FPs: ”A lot of work to do.”

Even if the upgrades brought by the German team weren’t as successful as they were supposed to be, both drivers are still confident that a podium can be achieved on Sunday.

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F1 | French GP | Mercedes drivers after FPs: ”A lot of work to do.”
Fuente imagen: Mercedes -AMG on Twitter

It was a tricky Friday afternoon for the Mercedes duo, as both Russell and Hamilton ended today's Practice sessions outside the top three, with the former achieving P4 twice.

George Russell talked about the tough track conditions in terms of temperature to F1TV, mentioning how important it'll be for the race:

"It was definitely hot on track, I had a nice, cool shower to cool off after FP2. A lot to go over, the high fueled pace is better than our low fuel pace, so we need to make sure that we optimise tomorrow to make sure there's no midfield cars in between us and the front four."

"And then see how to go on for Sunday, the Ferraris, I'm pretty sure, will be in front of us, Max who is very fast as usual," he added.

The German team tested out some technical upgrades during today's runs, which, according to the British driver have been useful, but part of their benefit has been absorbed by the improvements made by other teams:

"I still need to look over the data, we think so but everybody is still trying to improve the car, keeping to bring upgrades and the whole grid just keeps moving forward so, even if we found time, our rivals also have been finding time, so..."

"Sometimes it's not quite as simple to see on the lap chart."

Russell was forced to sit out for part of the morning session after a brief off track excursion, but the damage wasn't that serious as he was able to rejoin his fellow driver before the end of the session:

"There was a little bit, I don't quite know the extent of the damage as I have left it to the guys."

"Fortunately we got back out there, the curbs are pretty bruising, track is pretty smooth. It was quite enjoyable to be back at this circuit in certain aspect."

Asked if he feels a serious contender for the race win at Le Castellet or rather an "outsider" in spite of the upgrades brought by his team he replied:

"Outsider shot is probably the way to go, we are probably a little further off the pace then what we hoped, what to do tonight and back at the factory, but never say never!"

Seven times World Champion Lewis Hamilton discussed instead the disadvantage in getting to know track conditions posed by less running time:

"It wasn't th e best of sessions, naturally, because we missed out on one, I tried to get back up to speed but it was really hard, there was a lot of slow laps to try and get down the temperature of the tyres, but I think I got through."

Just like his teammate, Hamilton doesn't feel like his W13, in spite of the upgrades, is as up to speed with the win contendants as the team would have liked:

"I'm grateful for the work he did this morning, We have a lot of work to do, a lot of ground to cover, car is still not spectacular here, we don't know why but hopefully, I'm sure, overnight we usually make a bit of a step so I'm hoping this is the case for tomorrow"

Asked where he feels the car struggling the most, Hamilton wasn't extremely precise, but nevertheless is hopeful that the team will be able to recover:

"Just everywhere, if I'm being honest, just every corner. We have to dig deeper into the data but it feels like we were lacking downforce today. But otherwise, it's okay, I can only have empathy for the guys even further back."

"I think generally this generation of cars is definitely nowhere near as good as it used to be in terms of grip and stuff that we had in the past, but it's also the first era, the first year of the new generation, so I'm sure it'll get better over the years."

"But yeah, we have work to do. We are a little bit further behind than we anticipated this weekend."

The British driver believes that even if the upgrades weren't as successful as the team would have liked for them to be, him and Russell might still be able to get on the podium, projecting a top five result for tomorrow's qualyfing:

"Hopefully top five, I mean today we were fourth and fifth so that's kind of the region we will be fighting for. But it doesn't mean that we can't be on the podium, I think that we can still be up there," he concluded.

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