Lewis Hamilton can still race with his jewelry intact. Big problem for Mercedes star Friday: rough and tumble track at Monaco Grand Prix.
“It looks like my eyeballs are coming out of their sockets,” Hamilton said after a pair of practice sessions on a Monaco suburb.
“There are 100 straight bumps. It’s the most bumpy roller-coaster ride ever. “
At least he has to drive.
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Hamilton is at odds with the governing body of Formula One because FIA-ruled drivers cannot compete while wearing jewelry. The seven-time F1 champion complained that he had holes that could only be surgically removed, so the FIA gave him a waiver that allowed him to remove all his studs as far as Monaco.
But he arrived in Monaco with a still visible nose piercing, and the FIA extended the waiver until the end of June.
“It’s definitely positive that we’re working with (the FIA) and I think they’re taking advantage of us,” Hamilton said.
But as soon as practice started, the mood soon deteriorated and the new Mercedes for 2022 bounced across the circuit. The car has been problematic since its inception and has experienced an aerodynamic problem called “porpoising” where it wanders around the track.
“People are very bouncy here, I’m losing my (experienced) mind,” Hamilton told the Mercedes camp radio. “This cockpit needs elbow pads. Jumping like crazy. “
Hamilton has won three times in Monaco but is dealing with one of F1’s Crown Jewel venues this weekend that has never happened before.
“It’s just fighting with cars, holding them together in one lap, ‘Wow, holy bullshit,'” he said. “I don’t think it’s an experience like that.”
Newcomers George Russell and Hamilton’s Mercedes pair were eighth and 10th in the first practice on Friday, with Russell sixth and Hamilton 12th – and 1.61-seconds behind Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver led both exercises.
After promising results at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, Mercedes arrived in Monaco full of hope and after the first practice on Friday, Russell was optimistic.
After the first practice, Russell said, “I think we have definitely turned a corner. “We can crack now and it’s pretty inspiring.”
Russell’s tone changed after the second practice.
“The car is constantly crashing all over the floor. There are parts where both tires are off the ground, “Russell said.” At some point you’re almost wheeling. “
Mercedes is working tirelessly to speed up its new car, and Hamilton is on the verge of extending its winless streak to eight consecutive races dating to last season’s final. This would equate to its longest drought with Mercedes, which was set from the end of the 2015 season to the beginning of 2016.
With Ferrari and the Red Bull dominating again, there was nothing new at the top of the speed charts on Friday, but the Red Bull camp settled down after the team’s order for Sergio Perez’s victory in Barcelona.
The Red Bull instructed Perez to surrender the lead to teammate Max Verstappen, who had won his third consecutive and fourth overall race to take an F1 point lead from Leclerc. Perez called the call “unfair” but said in Monaco on Friday that the party had discussed the order.
“We talked after the race. It’s all clear, and we all agree that we could have done better, ”Perez said.“ We’re on the same page and we’re moving forward. It’s a great environment for Red Bull and we have great momentum. “
Perez, who has already begun talks with the Red Bull about extending his contract, said he was assured he would be allowed to race to win.
“It’s very clear,” he said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”
The struggle for McLaren star Daniel Ricciardo continued. With a smiling smile and eight wins, the Australian was once a rival to Red Bull Verstappen and even won in 2018 in Monaco.
Ricciardo hugged his McLaren early in the second practice of getting out of the swimming pool chicken. He broke through the metal barriers to get the red flag out, and McLaren boss Jack Brown was watching it all on his cellphone during a news conference at the Indianapolis 500.
“I’ve talked to Daniel about it, and we’re not getting the results we’ve been hoping for,” Brown from Indianapolis said. “We have to keep developing our race car. It’s not capable of winning races. But we want to see him at the top.”
Ricciardo said earlier Friday that McLaren had given the message.
“Well, that’s not a lie. That’s pretty true. I do not personally accept such comments. My skin is tan, beautiful and thick, ”he said. “No one is going to be harder than me. I know I don’t want to run 10th or 12th.
“I still believe I can stay in front and stay in the front. We’re working hard on it together. And the team wants it, I want it and we’re working through it. “
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