• Lewis Tops Friday Practice in Abu Dhabi, Valtteri P3

Productive practice day for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in Abu Dhabi

  • As the cars took to the reconfigured Yas Marina circuit for the first time, Valtteri went second-quickest in FP1, with Lewis just behind in P3.
  • In the cooler conditions of FP2, Lewis topped the timesheets with Valtteri in P3.
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Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a decent day, I like the changes they’ve made to the track – it’s made it free-flowing and more enjoyable. It’s obviously close between us all and a little unknown in terms of relative pace but I’m sure it’s going to be super close, as it has been in the previous races. The car doesn’t feel too bad, it started off in a good place and then got a bit worse in FP1. In FP2, it was little better with some of the changes we made. Now we just need to crunch through the data and try to figure out how we can improve, the target is always moving. On my long run, I was trying to follow the car ahead and it still wasn’t easy here but it should be better than in the past. Overall I feel good, I feel great in my body and we made some positive steps setup-wise so we’ll try to perfect it tonight and come back hard tomorrow. 

Valtteri Bottas

It was nice to get a feel of the modified layout, the track feels better than before with more flow and some increased overtaking opportunities. When I had a little moment on track, I went off-line where it’s very dusty and I was a little too wide on the kerbs before that corner and paid for it in the next one – a nice drift!

We changed the car quite a bit from FP1 to FP2 and it felt like a step forward so I’m comfortable overall with the car, but none of the laps today were amazing so there should still be more to come. We had a decent long run with the Medium tyre and the car was pretty consistent, you could feel the new faster corners stressing the rear axle a little more than before. We’ll do important work overnight and be ready for tomorrow.

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Andrew Shovlin

It’s been an interesting day and we’ve covered quite a lot of ground as far as the setup work goes. In the morning we weren’t particularly happy with the single lap work but the long run was well balanced. In the afternoon, the single lap was coming quite easily but the long run wasn’t great and neither driver was particularly happy with the car. The challenge tonight is to understand the effect of the changes we’ve been making and to find the right compromise between the low and the high fuel running. We’re warming up the simulator in Brackley for a busy night of setup work but we’ve got a good read on the issues today, so hopefully between the work here at the track, and the work back there, we can make some good progress overnight.