Both Mercedes AMG Motorsport drivers admitted it was a tough Friday at the Hockenheimring due to the high temperatures.
Lewis Hamilton was third in both sessions ahead of the German Grand Prix while Valtteri Bottas was fifth in the morning following an off before improving to fourth in Free Practice 2.
The two Scuderia Ferrari’s were out of reach of the silver arrows on Friday with the heat causing Mercedes issues with cooling but the team believe the upgrades they have brought to Germany have improved the situation.
Hamilton admits tyre life could be problematic in these conditions but hopes the weather changes over the weekend to make it more comfortable for Mercedes.
“It’s not been the best of days in terms of the heat, but pretty straightforward otherwise.
“These tyres don’t like the temperature so we had to do very slow outlaps and the tyres don’t last very long.
“It’s all about trying to keep the tyres in the working range.
“They were always overheating, so that’s been the main issue today, but we’re all in the same boat.
“We’re hoping the weather won’t be like this for the rest of the weekend.
“If it’s cooler and it’s dry, nothing from today really applies – the tyres will come back towards us and everyone will be quicker and more comfortable on the track.”
Bottas like his team-mate admitted the high temperatures made it a tough day, especially in the final sector which was where the Finn had a trip through the gravel after locking up and running wide.
Despite the heat, Bottas was pleased to see the improvements
of the car in dealing with the temperature and says it is a lot better than it
was back in Austria when the team struggled because of the hot weather.
“It’s was extremely hot, I can’t remember the last time I drove in these kind of conditions, but it’s the same for everyone.
“It makes it more tricky for the drivers, the cars and the tyres.
“We saw lots of overheating, especially in sector 3.
“We’ve made some progress on our cooling; we would have struggled massively to run here with the package we had in Austria, but with the new package we could actually complete some good long runs.”
Andrew Shovlin feels the silver arrows are behind Ferrari in terms of pace but was still happy with the teams performance over the two session.
The temperature is expected to drop over the weekend and there is a threat of rain and Shovlin believes that the change will help make Mercedes more competitive and the action more interesting.
“In terms of pace, some runs were a bit better than others but our overall feeling is that in these temperatures, we’re probably sitting a little bit behind Ferrari.
“We’ve got some useful learning from the sessions today and it’s been a good test of the car, but we’re expecting a big drop in temperature for the remainder of the weekend.
“With the cooler temperatures there is a good chance of rain which should keep things interesting.”