Mercedes faces “big decisions” after Lewis Hamilton fights in Azerbaijan Grand Prix training, Damon Hill says

Lewis Hamilton struggled hard in Friday’s Baku practice as Mercedes were once again far from the pace set by Red Bull and Ferrari; watch the Azerbaijan Grand Prix live on Sky Sports all weekend as the race on Sunday starts at 12:00

Last updated: 10/22/06 10:36 p.m.

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Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car had more problems in training in Azerbaijan on Friday

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car had more problems in training in Azerbaijan on Friday

Mercedes is “facing big decisions” and needs to find their way after a disappointing display in Azerbaijani GP training, according to former world champion Damon Hill.

Lewis Hamilton endured a difficult first day on the Baku track, tackling a major rebound and managing a setup experiment in Second Practice that didn’t come out.

After finishing more than a second from Sergio Perez’s first time in P1, Hamilton was even further away in the second session, 1.6 seconds behind Charles Leclerc in 12th, and teammate George Russell was only 0.3 seconds behind in seventh.

Hamilton, who has not won a podium since the start of the season, is now 75 points behind world leader Max Verstapp.

“I’m fine. I’m a little hurt,” the seven-time world champion said. “We’re getting serious speed at the end here and it’s bouncing a lot.

Notice that Hamilton's car bounced off the track during the initial training session

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Notice that Hamilton’s car bounced off the track during the initial training session

Notice that Hamilton’s car bounced off the track during the initial training session

“I can’t really tell you where (we’re losing) 1.6 seconds, 1.3 seconds or whatever, it’s a long way off.”

According to F1’s new design rule after a terribly disappointing start to the season, Mercedes seemed to have given a corner on an improved Barcelona screen last month, but a week later it was back in Monaco.

The recent fights of the Silver Arrows led Hill to raise concerns about the team’s direction for the rest of the season, and already the hopes of a ninth-constructors title were dashed.

“They seem to be trying everything they can think of, if you hear Lewis try another experimental setup again, without much success,” Hill said. Sky Sports F1.

Hamilton fought in Baku on Friday

Hamilton fought in Baku on Friday

“You’re going to start here, have we really done something wrong with our concept? So that’s a bit of a headache, because you can’t just do that with upgrades.

“They said they felt they had a direction in Spain, but it has been lost again.

“They have to ask themselves some big questions and make some big decisions, I think.”

Schiff: Really disappointing for Mercedes

Sky Sports F1Naomi Schiff explained that the rebound that Hamilton experienced on Friday will make it difficult for him to perform at a high level.

“It’s uncomfortable,” Schiff said. “Luckily, I didn’t have to deal with that, but it’s clear that all the comments say the drivers are suffering, and you saw it at Lewis’ hand, it hurts in the back.

“It’s also not great in terms of visibility. It’s even more frustrating because I really think at this point, they want to move away from this issue and start focusing on the actual overall setup.

“I think that’s the biggest problem. They couldn’t fix it and there’s supposed potential in the car, and it hasn’t been released yet.”

George Russell admits Mercedes still lacks pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari after training at Friday's Baku Circuit

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George Russell admits Mercedes still lacks pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari after training at Friday’s Baku Circuit

George Russell admits Mercedes still lacks pace compared to Red Bull and Ferrari after training at Friday’s Baku Circuit

The unpredictability of the Baku high-speed street circuit will leave Mercedes hopeful that it can make landfall over the weekend, with five different pole-singles and five different winners with five track races.

However, Russell has admitted that he has little hope of competing with the main teams this season – Red Bull and Ferrari.

“It simply came to our notice then [Red Bull and Ferrari] We’re just a faster car than we are on our own and we’ve done everything we can to get ahead, ”Russell said.

“When we’re on our tires we’re not going to close that gap completely. They’re very advanced. So that’s it [tyres] it’s probably 50 percent of our problem, the rest is just a lack of performance right now. “

Despite another disappointing Friday, Hill says not everything is lost for Mercedes, but stresses that a clear goal must be reached for Toto Wolff’s team soon.

“A season is never a cancellation,” he added. “You have a lot of races and you still have a lot of time, but they have to look for direction.”

Complete Sky Sports F1 program

Saturday

10:20: F2 Sprint
11:45: Three practices
14:00: Classification

Sunday

8:30 a.m .: F2 Feature Race
10:30 am: Grand Prix Sunday: Azerbaijan
12:00 pm: AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIZE
14:00: Checkered flag: Azerbaijan
15:30: Azerbaijan GP Highlights

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