Mercedes drivers struggle with unpredictable conditions in Spanish GP practice

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MONTMELO – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were left frustrated by the inconsistent and unpredictable weather conditions during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday.

The two Mercedes drivers shared top spot in the practice sessions on Friday, with Rosberg finishing fastest in FP1 before Hamilton headed up the leaderboard in the second session.

In spite of a number of updates on the Ferrari car this weekend, the German team appears to have lost none of its advantage at the front of the field, with some predictions putting Hamilton and Rosberg one second per lap ahead.

However, Hamilton said that it was difficult to get the most out of the Mercedes W06 Hybrid car due to the changeable weather conditions as high temperatures were complemented by strong winds on Friday afternoon.

“It’s been a fairly decent day , mainly working on setup, tweaking the balance bit by bit,” Hamilton said. “It’s often hard to get a good comparison between the sessions with the track and wind conditions changing.

“The wind was quite strong at times today and really inconsistent around the lap. The car is quite affected by that and it was pretty hot out there in the afternoon too, so I think maybe the temperatures also had an effect on lap times.”

In the sister Mercedes, Rosberg echoed Hamilton’s thoughts, and hopes that the conditions will be less varied for qualifying on Saturday.

On track it was quite a difficult day for everyone, I think,” the German said. “The conditions were really strange and the track was very poor.

“I don’t know really why but hopefully it will be more predictable for qualifying and the race.”

Mercedes enters tomorrow’s qualifying session with a pole position streak that dates all the way back to last June’s Austrian Grand Prix, and will be aiming to make good on its practice pace by locking out the front row of the grid.