Lewis Hamilton considers Mercedes can spoil Ferrari’s party at their home Italian GP that weekend, insisting the two teams are on a”similar degree” at Monza regardless of the Scuderia’s power advantage.
Ferrari, debuting an updated engine in F1’s quickest track and looking for back-to-back 2019 victories, were billed as powerful favorites for the weekend by Mercedes although Charles Leclerc topped both Friday sessions, Hamilton was just 0.068s diminished in Practice 2 – which enabled more arid running than P1 on a rain-affected moment.
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P2 Report: Leclerc just ahead of Hamilton
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A tow helped hamilton from team-mate Valtteri Bottas because of his lap, but it was set on a track that was dry compared to Leclerc’s in rain.
Although conditions supposed a representative pre-order from Friday is uncertain, Hamilton believes Mercedes are nearer to Ferrari when they had been in Spa – before holding off him in the race, if he is beaten by Leclerc to pole by seven-tenths of a second.
“They’re quite fast in a straight line, we are fairly strong I think on race speed,” said Hamilton. “But a small bit nearer potentially on single lap speed. It looks like we may have a fight.
“I was expecting them to be quick on a straight, which they are, however, there is enough corners in which we’re ready to gain it back. They are not actually that quick through the corners, so us kind of balance out.
“I still think it’s likely to be a very hard race but we’re on a similar level that’s quite nice.”
Bottas, who had been fourth in P2, added:”We knew coming they were going to be strong but it didn’t seem worse compared to Spa because of us.
“For sure we have a great opportunity this weekend”
Leclerc has seen adequate evidence that was early to feel that Ferrari have a fight on their hands at the front of the field.
“Fine to be fastest, however I really don’t think it’s a real picture of everything,” said that the Ferrari driver.
“I expect Mercedes to be quite powerful tomorrow when we will be in exactly the exact conditions, as they did their fastest lap time in challenging conditions.”
Sebastian Vettel, two tenths away Leclerc’s pace, added:”It was OK but we can still get more from the vehicle. It was a tiny scrappy session with everybody jumping out because of not the normal rhythm and the conditions you’ve got as soon as the light went .
“The most important issue is we have some good laps, we understand where the weakness is, and that is what we try to focus on.”
One trend was teams Though rain and flags interrupted Friday’s two sessions. 1 car was running ahead of the other, together with the second automobile gaining a performance advantage the straights down.
“If you are within three or three seconds of the automobile in front, it’s likely going to be worth 3-4kph,” says Sky F1’s Paul Di Resta. “That on each straight is liberated lap time”
Karun Chandhok added:”The gap Lewis had behind Valtteri in P2 was so fantastic. Lewis gained 6kph on each straight.”
Asked about the effectiveness of a tow, Vettel explained:”We will see the terms, we will observe the tyres, just how careful we all need to be about the out lap and go from there.
“It is fine if you get the tow, it is not so nice for those who do not, but that is how it is around here.”
Ferrari are searching for a first Italy win because 2010 while Mercedes have won the last five events, making quite the tendency of upsetting the house’Tifosi’.
Hamilton also praised the”amazing” and”unique” Monza circuit along with Italian GP, that is celebrating its 90th event this weekend.
“It’s an extraordinary track,” he said. “It’s a really special circuit, the flying points are incredibly important, it is very tough and you’ve got Parabolica and you throw so much pace into these corners and you have not got a great deal of downforce.
“It’s a genuine special track to drive.”
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