Lewis Hamilton: 'Openly critical' team meetings vital - French Grand Prix 2018

Ruben Hill
June 23, 2018

The latest specification engine had been due for introduction in Canada two weekends ago but that was postponed at short notice due to concerns about an unspecified "quality issue".

Lewis Hamilton may be facing the next several grands prix without Mercedes' new specification engine.

"We've not opened it up at the moment but it feels clean and it feels fresh as a new engine does", Hamilton said.

But after dominating Friday practice at the Paul Ricard circuit, the Silver Arrows revealed their cars - and those of customers Williams and Force India - had been fitted with upgraded power units.

The 33-year-old finished 0.704seconds quicker than Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull in FP2 to top the time-sheet, just as he did earlier in the day - both without even running at full power.

"There's a lot of different lines you can take and it's tricky to find reference points out on track".

"We as a team have all sat down and each and every person have been critical of themselves, including me", he said. Apart from the colourful lines, it's hard to tell where you are.

And now it is not clear if Hamilton and his teammate Valtteri Bottas will have the engine in Paul Ricard.

"There's a couple of places for example on the back straight where you're trying to find out where the corner is and it's really hard to see".

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"I am grateful for all the hard work everyone back at Brixworth has done".

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel had a typically quiet Friday as Ferrari eased themselves into the weekend.

"On the long run I was able to play a little bit more, try different things with lines and try to understand a little bit more so hopefully I can start from there tomorrow then we should have more of a rhythm and vehicle wise, I think we can improve as well".

Bottas missed out on pole position to Vettel by less than a tenth of a second in qualifying and said after Sunday's race: "We need the engine upgrade".

But the driver, bidding to beat the German to claim his fifth world championship, will have one eye on Gareth Southgate's team as they aim to secure their second victory in as many matches.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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