Lewis Hamilton didn’t mince words at the end of a tumultuous Friday in Montreal, dubbing the first two practice sessions “a nightmare” as Mercedes opted for an experimental day. Hamilton finished Free Practice 1 in P8 – where he ran an experimental floor with a large cut in it on his W13, as Mercedes look to try and control their porpoising and bouncing issues – but was then a disappointing P13 in the FP2, nearly 1.3s off the pace of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. FP2: Verstappen wins the Friday practice sessions in Montreal by 0.081s over Leclerc. “Pretty much like every Friday for us, trying lots of different things, an experimental floor on my side that didn’t work,” Hamilton said when asked about his Friday. Nothing we do to this vehicle in general seems to work, so we’re trying different setups; with this P2, George [Russell] and I tried a lot of different setups to see if one way works and one way doesn’t. “It’s like the car’s growing worse, it’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it,” I said. “I’ll wait to hear how it felt for him, but it was a disaster for me.” I’m not sure, but we’ll keep working on it because it’s what it is. “I believe this is the car for the year, so we’ll just have to tough it out and work hard next year to produce a better car.”
Hamilton couldn’t find a sweet spot for his W13’s setup.
Hamilton, who, with Michael Schumacher, is the joint-most successful driver in Montreal history, said his time behind the wheel of the W13 had left him chilly at his favorite Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. “It’s not the Montreal that I’m familiar with, that I’m used to, or that I’ve experienced in my career,” Hamilton said, recalling his maiden pole and victory here in 2007. “It’s the worst I’ve ever felt in any car here, so I’m hopeful we can make some improvements overnight.” But, at its core, it’s just the car’s foundations; it is what it is. It’s going to be difficult. : After a retro console video went viral, Hamilton says, “I just had an itch to play old games.” “The whole time, it’s just a massive effort to keep it out of the wall,” he added. “When it bounces, when the car leaves the ground a lot, and then when it lands it grips up and it goes in different directions, and you’re just trying to catch a car that jumps, hops, grips, hops, grips. It’s difficult, and it keeps you on your toes. Today, there were some significant hits. We’ve lifted the automobile, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. “We’ve tried everything,” he concluded. “Those aren’t working, so we’ll have to look for something different.” And we’re a long way off, but that’s to be anticipated in a car like this.”
Russell believed Mercedes still had a chance to finish third this weekend.