Lewis Hamilton has not been able to match the pace of team mate George Russell over the last three races due to experiments Mercedes have performed on their cars, according to team principal Toto Wolff.
Russell, who joined Mercedes from Williams at the start of the year, out-qualified Hamilton for the third weekend in a row today. Wolff said this has been influenced by the drivers running different parts or set-ups on their cars as they try to solve their problems.
“I think it’s too early to try to identify a pattern because I’m very close to it and I see that one session one is faster and the next session the other one is faster,” said Wolff. “Because the car is on a knife’s edge if you put a foot wrong in terms of experiments on the car, which need to be done in order for us to actually learn how to perform, where to put the car, there’s two or three tenths immediately between them.
“The last three races these experiments have gone wrong with Lewis and not with George.”
Hamilton’s car is in a different specification again this weekend, said Wolff. “Lewis has been trying some experimental parts of the car. There was a different floor solution on his car that didn’t work.
“The car was porpoising more and bottoming out to a degree that it became dangerous and couldn’t extract the performance. So, yes, it was a different spec.”
Hamilton said yesterday “we tried something experimental on my car and it didn’t feel that great to be honest.”
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