Andrew Shovlin explains Mercedes’ improved British GP pace

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says the team brought “quite extensive” upgrades to the British Grand Prix.

After five difficult races, Mercedes seemed to be back on form at the British Grand Prix. This is evident even if we look at the results of the race, where Lewis Hamilton finished in P1 and Valtteri Bottas in P3.

The team now sits only 4 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship standings. Andrew Shovlin explains what he believes contributed to the team’s improved pace.

“It [the upgrades] were quite extensive in terms of front and rear cake tins and all the area around the bargeboards, the floor,” the Briton said after the race.

“So quite a significant amount of work on the car and we had struggled at recent races. They are circuits that historically we’ve actually found quite difficult, certainly in recent years.

“I think the pace we’ve seen at Silverstone is a combination of two things. One is we’re getting the car back on a circuit where it works well and we have also made a nice step in terms of aerodynamic performance.

“Those two together are really why you saw us take pole position on Friday.”

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Shovlin says the team already felt more confident about their pace after Friday’s first free practice session.

“We didn’t changed the a car a lot. Lewis did a lot of work, Valtteri as well, but Lewis was even in the simulator on Friday morning having a look at some final items.

“From that first running in FP1 going into qualifying were very, very small, talking one or two roll bars, hardly anything. Tuning a little bit on the wing level, but really not a lot.

“We didn’t do a great job of getting the most out of the tyres when we did the low fuel work on Friday. But we were at least able to do enough in the program to identify it.

“The whole approach was really about trying to find a setup that we could put onto the track, it would work well and then we just look at what we need to tune going into qualifying.

“But we actually had quite a good baseline, I think the session was very strong. If you look at the headline times you might believe otherwise. But actually, we were quite confident going into qualifying.

“Until you have actually done the times you can’t be properly confident, but we could see what the issue was and we were able to fix it,” concluded Mercedes’ chief engineer.

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