Mercedes have lots of room for improvement after Canadian GP FP2 performance

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was quickest in free practice 2 for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Mercedes‘ technical director James Allisson insisted the team has lots of room to improve after Lewis Hamilton led a one-two FP2 of the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix.

However, he doused expectations ahead of qualifying after a strange Friday in Canada where the afternoon session was rain-affected and FP1 only saw three minutes of live running.

“I think there’s plenty more to improve on your car before we get to qualifying,” Allison told Sky Sports F1. “The car is in okay shape, but it’s not deserving of a one-two, because we just weren’t running on track at the same time.

“Thinking that this rain was coming a little sooner than he came, we ran a long run at the beginning of the session and short runs at the end.

“Everyone else did it vice versa, so we were doing our short runs when the track was at its fastest.”

Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Second placed Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Third placed George Russell of Mercedes on the podium after 2023 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

After a torrid start to the 2023 season, Mercedes recorded just their second double-podium since before the 2022 summer break at the Spanish GP.

George Russell was able to comfortably hold off Sergio Perez in the closing stages as Mercedes left Barcelona looking the clear best of the rest team behind Red Bull.

However, Allison doesn’t expect that to translate to Canada, despite their impressive FP2 showing.

George did his lap and said it didn’t feel very good, and Lewis was impeded on his fine final corner. So there is more, but people shouldn’t underestimate the effect of the track improvement” Allison said.

“What we did to move the car a bit forward in Barcelona, was mostly at the high and the medium speed part of the car and we’ve still got significant things to improve on the low speed.

“This track is mostly about going round slow speed corners in good order.”

Mercedes expecting dry Canadian GP

It’s expected to be a wet Saturday – similar to 2022 when Fernando Alonso landed his Alpine on the front row of the grid – with Sunday’s forecast unclear.

However, Allison poured more cold water on hopes of a cold downpour for the grand prix, after torrential rain fell on the top of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to end FP2.

“It’s going to be a dry race, we think, we’ve got to get there first, but generally speaking, it’s been okay,” Allison added when asked how the W14 handled in the wet.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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