Rivals: 'Not a surprise in any way' with Mercedes' resurgence
Quickest in Friday’s practice in Miami, neither Christian Horner nor Lando Norris are surprised by Mercedes’ resurgence.
After four difficult race weekends the early signs at the Miami Grand Prix point to a better weekend for the Mercedes team.
But whether it is a P1 weekend remains to be seen.
George Russell set the pace in Friday’s second practice, the Briton a tenth up on the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc while Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest.
It was the team’s best showing of this season on a Friday, Mercedes trailing a new front and rear wing on the day.
But while Russell has downplayed his pace, saying it is only a Friday and let’s see what happens next, Horner says he always felt it was only a matter of time before the Brackley squad bounced back.
And that's a wrap! 👏 @MercedesAMGF1's @GeorgeRussell63 finishes the session on top 💪#MiamiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/eAbhiU2saj
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 6, 2022
“I’ve been saying since pre-season that it’s only a matter of time before they sort themselves out and that’s starting to happen,” he told Sky Sports.
“The characteristic of this circuit helps as well but you can see they’re starting to get on top of their issues. They’re looking competitive.”
That’s a sentiment echoed by McLaren driver Norris.
“Not at all,” he told The Race when asked if he was surprised to see Mercedes at the front. “They were what, P4/P5 in Bahrain? They’ve been strong all year.
“Just because they have some bouncing, everyone expects them to be terrible.
“They’re extremely strong in slow-speed corners. Mercedes have probably been one of the best cars in slow speed corners all season, just no one ever looks at the GPS very well and picks it up.
“So not a surprise in any way. It just makes us want to work even harder and try to get past them again.”
However, Ferrari driver Leclerc says he was surprised before adding that it is “nice” to see the reigning Constructors’ Champions up at the front.
“The surprise is Mercedes for now; they seem to be very strong and also on the high-fuel pace they were strong, so they might be the surprise this weekend, and it would be nice if they could join the battle with Red Bull and ourselves,” he told the official F1 website.
“It seems the field is much closer than what we have seen since beginning of the season. We definitely need to do a step up for qualy. We will try to put everything together, also doing a step forward in terms of driving.”
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