Lewis Hamilton and George Russell thank Mick Schumcher

Mick Schumacher flew to Barcelona on Saturday following a late simulator session in Brackley.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were both quick to praise Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher after the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, after the German’s work in the simulator helped the W14 become the “best it’s ever felt”.

Mercedes endured a horrific opening day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, resulting in Schumacher completing a late-night simulator session back at the base in Brackley.

Following his late simulator session, the young German then flew to the track, where he looked visibly tired.

His “great work” in the simulator though, helped the team make a huge improvement throughout Saturday and Sunday, as Mercedes claimed their first double podium since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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The change in Mercedes’ performance throughout the weekend was staggering, with Hamilton having been convinced that he was set for a Q2 exit.

Hamilton ended up qualifying fifth before finishing the race in second, resulting in him thanking Schumacher.

“Friday was a real struggle with the balance, it was way out of the window,” explained Hamilton, as reported by Autosport.

“It was very hard to drive, very unpredictable. And then we did some great work overnight.  

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“We’ve got a great team, with Mick back in the simulator on Friday night, and he did some great work, which helped us get on the right track on Saturday.” 

Russell’s recovery was even more remarkable, as he finished third despite having qualified 12th.

He too was very quick to thank Schumacher, with the Silver Arrows finally “making strides in the right direction”.

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“It probably felt the best it’s ever felt around Barcelona because of the cooler conditions,” Russell said. “Definitely this season, it is probably the best it’s felt, the most together it’s felt. 

“The team’s done a really, really great job. The work that Mick and the simulator team are doing overnight, they were there well past midnight to help us with the set-up and get it in a good window for the race today.  

“So, we are making strides in the right direction. We just need to make sure, especially into next year, that we hit the ground running because I think we as a team probably develop faster than anybody else.”