Mercedes should not be ‘encouraged’ by George Russell setting the fastest time in FP2, according to Paul di Resta. Russell topped the timesheets in the final practice session, beating the Red Bull of Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
The former driver turned pundit warns Mercedes have got ‘work to do’ and warned their car still looked ‘way out the window’.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, he said: “You can’t be that encouraged. He was using DRS don’t forget as well. The sprint fuel load, If you say the sprint’s about a third of a race distance, what fuel load are you on. Where does that put you. Of course, Mercedes aren’t going to be stronger.
“If you look at what Ted showed you with the rear graining that shows the car is way out the window. They’ve got work to do, analysing, get that data back to the factory, come up with new solutions.”
He added: “Getting stuck under these parc ferme conditions you’ve just got to explore what you can.”
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However, it is expected all drivers will opt to use the soft tyre for this afternoon sprint race which will only last around half an hour. Kravitz told Sky Sports F1: “What we are also seeing I think from Mercedes is the tyre actually coming up to temperature.
“Now the soft tyre in these conditions is actually working well. It is still pretty cool conditions. They are also expecting the Mercedes would be good once they could get it in any kind of usable window.
“Ok sure, maybe we won’t see George Russell coming through… but this is what happens when Mercedes finally get some heat into their tyres.”