James Allison said Friday was just a day of learning for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team around the Baku Street Circuit, with the technical director feeling there is work to do in order to be in contention this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas was the quicker of the two drivers in both practice sessions on Friday, finishing first in the morning session before slipping to fourth in the afternoon, while Lewis Hamilton was fourth in the morning and fifth later on, although both were more than three-quarters of a second behind Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Allison says there are plenty of directions they can go overnight to see if they can improve the pace and performance of the W09’s on Saturday, and he hopes they choose the right one as they aim for their first victory of 2018.
“It was a day of learning at this very unusual track,” said Allison. “But even though we’ve made progress, we’ve got a lot more to do tonight in order to be able to take the fight to a very fast Red Bull.
“But we have plenty of directions to head in; I’m looking forward to the remainder of the weekend, which we’re sure is going to be a competitive one.”