Spanish Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton vows to compete with Ferrari as Mercedes solve bouncing issues
Lewis Hamilton expects Mercedes to be able to battle it out with Ferrari in the Spanish Grand Prix; Toto Wolff told Sky Sports the team have solved their straight-line porpoising issues; watch the Spanish Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm on Sunday
Last Updated: 22/05/22 10:51am
Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes are capable of competing with Ferrari in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after another much-improved display from the team in qualifying.
Both George Russell and Hamilton built on promising practice runs on Friday and Saturday morning to qualifying fourth and sixth respectively for the race in Barcelona, with the team having brought an upgraded car to Spain.
Most significantly, Mercedes appear to have solved the straight-line porpoising issues which have plagued them during the opening rounds of the 2022 season and seven-time world champion Hamilton is in no doubt it is a realistic prospect to be duking it out with Ferrari, who will start with Charles Leclerc on pole and Carlos Sainz third, on race day.
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"The team have done a great job so a big, big thank you to everyone for keeping pushing back at the factory because we don't have bouncing in a straight line which is a huge improvement for us and the car has generally been nicer this weekend," Hamilton said.
I think the Red Bulls look like they might be quickest, but we look like we could maybe compete with the Ferraris tomorrow and that is a big step for us.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton
"We do have some bouncing through the high speed corners like Turn 3 and 9 so we just need to keep working on it and see if we can gain some downforce elsewhere.
"I am a little bit gutted because I want to be further up ahead, and you have obviously seen George is able to put it up further ahead than me, but I will keep pushing.
"Friday was our best race pace that we have had so if we could start racing with the Ferraris, for example, that would be amazing. I think the Red Bulls look like they might be quickest, but we look like we could maybe compete with the Ferraris tomorrow and that is a big step for us."
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff cautiously echoed Hamilton's sentiments and expects the upgraded car to really show its potential in the race, hailing the step forward they have taken this weekend.
Wolff also explained that the German marque had been able to solve the bouncing problems through the work done back at their Brackley headquarters.
"It's simple; it's all an aerodynamic effect that creates from the floor swinging," Wolff told Sky Sports. "It was difficult to come to that conclusion in a scientific way, but the team have found it and that's great.
"We know how to unlock more performance, but we're not yet there - it's step by step.
"The other teams have continued to develop their cars when we've been in a sort of pause moment to find out about the bouncing. So, we can pick up the regular development as soon as we understand the tyres now the bouncing is gone.
"I think we have taken a solid step into Barcelona. You try to keep your expectations at a realistic point, and I think where we slotted in today is somehow the best we could have expected."
Sky Sports F1's full schedule for race day
Sunday, May 22
9am: Formula 3 feature race
10.35am: Formula 2 feature race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Spain
2pm: THE SPANISH GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: Spain
5pm: Ted's Notebook
6pm: Spanish GP Highlights