Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his running at Hockenheim today during practice for the German Grand Prix, but has admitted that he found the Mercedes car slightly more difficult to drive without its FRIC system.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting sent out a technical directive last week suggesting that the front-rear interconnected (FRIC) suspension device was in breach of the regulations. As the teams failed to agree on postponing the ban, they were forced to remove the devices from their cars for the race this weekend.
Mercedes was understood to have the most complex system on its car, and Hamilton did indeed notice a difference during practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim today.
“The car is a bit different now as everyone made some setup changes in a different direction to what we’ve had in the past, but it’s still fun to drive.
“As the temperatures were so high, it was difficult for the tyres and we’re going to need to manage that carefully when we get to the race.”
Lewis’s attention now turns to qualifying, where he has set his sights on securing his fifth pole of the year at a track where a front-row start is crucial due to the sweeping first corner.
“Pole is important everywhere you go,” he said. “There’s a long straight down to turn six, so there are opportunities created if you are perhaps second, but pole always makes it easier.”
With just four points separating Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets, this weekend’s race could be pivotal in the fight to become world champion in 2014.