Mercedes will likely undo a number of alternations to its W13 challenger overnight after it unsuccessfully experimented with the car during FP2 on Friday.
Mercedes, who has struggled for pace throughout much of the 2022 Formula 1 season, experimented with its set-up throughout the second practice session in Hungary.
However, its speed was well off the leaders, with George Russell setting the ninth fastest time, almost a full second down on pace-setter Charles Leclerc.
The Brackley-based squad has run trials with its car on a number of occasions this year, particularly on Lewis Hamilton’s side of the garage.
But its latest efforts in Budapest don’t appear to have aided its hunt for performance.
“We came in sort of wanting to do some experiments with the car and I think the ones that we did in FP2 with both [drivers] have taken us backwards, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin told Sky F1.
“The first session we looked a bit stronger, the car was more together. There’s a couple of things that I’m pretty certain we are going to be undoing overnight, because it didn’t look great.”
Both Hamilton and Russell were heard complaining about the balance of the car throughout the day.
“Lewis had picked up a bit of damage during one of his lower fuel runs,” Shovlin said. “That definitely affected his high fuel.
“But I think some of the set-up changes we made, we’ve gone the wrong way.
“We’re here to learn and you don’t always get them making the car going quicker but I think there’s two of those that we’ll be going back on overnight.”
Drivers may be facing much different conditions during qualifying on Saturday, as rainfall is expected throughout the day.
Shovlin says that Mercedes’ difficult FP2 outing means rain wouldn’t be the worst scenario for the team, but admits that it is keen to have more dry running to further understand the car.
“In a way that makes it not too bad that we’ve had a difficult FP2, because I think we’ll be facing quite different conditions in FP3 and quali,” he said.
“And then the race looks like it’ll be a lot cooler than it is today. So not the end of the world but it would be nice to have a session where you can work with the car a bit, and this wasn’t that.
“There’s plenty of data for us to go through. I think we know the first things we want to do and then the wet’s a different game altogether.”
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