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Formula 1

Hamilton, Russell encouraged by Mercedes pace

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 21: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 21, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were encouraged by the pace of their machinery despite the bumps around the Circuit of The Americas.

The Silver Arrows brought new updates for the United States Grand Prix, which they tested during the opening practice sessions on Friday. Speaking at the end of the day, Russell showed confidence for Saturday’s qualifying session.

“I think we’ll be okay,” he said. “We should hopefully be in Q3 and fighting for those top six positions.

“I’d like to think that we’ll be ahead of the midfield cars this weekend. But I’ve learned in this sport to take nothing for granted.

“So we’re going to work as hard as we can overnight, try and make sure we’ve got a fast car. Pole is always a stretch for us, but the race is on Sunday, so I think we’ve got half chance.”

Hamilton admitted to seeing improvements on his W13 car.

“I kept the car in one piece today, which is good, and definitely felt improvements in the car,” he said. “Obviously this was a bit of a waste of a session in terms of performance, but P1 was feeling quite good.

“I’m hoping to make some changes tonight and we’ll find out tomorrow [Saturday] exactly where we stand. But it doesn’t feel like we’re too far away from everyone.

To conclude, the 7-time World Champion complained about the bumpy surface around COTA, which doesn’t benefit his machinery. He called his experience with the bumps “horrible.”

“The car is so stiff now,” he said. “Coming and driving the car, luckily I don’t actually have many fillings because if I did they would have all come out this year, for sure.

“It’s just so, so bumpy. I’m really praying for a non-bumpy car next year.”

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