Lewis Hamilton struggled to find a good balance with his Mercedes car during the second practice session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. While he had been in good form during the first session, he trailed Max Verstappen by almost a second and ended up seventh after his second practice, attributing the inconsistency in his performance to the difficulty of the car. “P1 looked quite good, but then to come into P2, and the true pace comes out, it’s just a kick in the gut,” he said. Hamilton remained optimistic, hoping that changes to the car’s setup would improve its performance for the race.
The Australian Grand Prix had given Hamilton and his team reason to be hopeful with their challenge to Red Bull, but recent developments have proved more difficult. Hamilton compared the experience of driving his current W14 car to his challenging 2022 car. “Melbourne was a night and day difference, and it was much, much nicer to drive there,” he said. The upcoming Imola race is expected to bring much-needed significant upgrades to the car. The seven-times world champion remains hopeful that these upgrades will take Mercedes a couple of steps up in the competition.
Despite optimistic predictions, Hamilton‘s description shows how desperate Mercedes is for their next race after assessing their current car’s performance. Hamilton commented that the current form and pace of the Mercedes proved how much the team needed the Imola race and the upgrades it would bring. He and his team are working hard to overcome the challenges and keep their heads down, looking towards a fresh start and a new path in the Imola race.