Lewis Hamilton's verdict as thunderstorms threaten Styrian Grand Prix qualifying nightmare
Jul 11 2020
Things certainly didn't go to plan for Daniel Ricciardo on Friday during the second round of practice ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton (2016), team mate Bottas (2017 and 2020) and Red Bull's Max Verstappen (2018 and 2019) are the only drivers on the current grid to have won in Austria.
The circuit is owned by Red Bull and is the second highest altitude of the season after Mexico.
Vettel was particularly vocal about his complaints with the vehicle running on high fuel in the race, but said it had made a notable step forward in both long- and short-run trim.
Mercedes suspects that the gearbox problems will not be such an issue at tracks that don't require such aggression with the kerbs, like the Red Bull Ring, but this weekend's repeat race means it has work to do.
Although it was a sweltering 35 degrees here on Friday, qualifying could be heavily disrupted with thunderstorms forecast to arrive in the Styrian Mountains on Saturday.
Formula 1 chairperson and CEO Chase Carey said: "The Russian Grand Prix is a major moment in our season and we are looking forward to being back in Sochi in September". The last time was the pre-season testing in Barcelona last February.
"So we definitely need to close the gap to fight them in that area, rather than on strategy".
Lando Norris, meanwhile, faces some disappointment on Sunday, no matter how much or how little track activity there is before the race.
This weekend, he is promising an even more aggressive approach than last - when Red Bull protested against Mercedes on every day of the Grand Prix - and said he is bidding for victory.
"Max obviously had a good session and is comfortable with the auto so hopefully we can learn a little bit from his side of the garage and take a step forward".
"I don't know what the procedure's going to be this weekend. but of course if there's an opportunity again the answer's yes", he said. "I think we have ideas". The design, reminiscent of the layout seen at Mercedes, also shortens the longitudinal floor holes ahead of them, with the entire layout altering how the wake turbulence generated by the front tyres is met by the airflow travelling under, over and around the floor. We hope to come back stronger.