Mercedes has been experiencing serious issues with their car since the beginning of the 2022 season, with their biggest problem being porpoising.
However, after a great showing at the British Grand Prix, Andrew Shovlin says the team can now finally focus on pure performance.
“In the first few races, we were literally just sort of fighting to survive,” the Briton said.
“And the drivers were fighting to survive with a car that was incredibly difficult to work with. But we did a decent job of scoring points, actually, and picking up on the opportunities when others were unreliable.
“Barcelona was useful for us because we had something that wasn’t bouncing around on every circuit that we went to.
“But clearly a recent run of three street tracks highlighted another weakness and, to be honest, we’re just going through it: looking for the problems, and then we’ll try and apply our engineering skills to solving them.
“But I would say that the route that we want to take now is becoming increasingly clear. And that’s encouraging from a development point of view.
“This [Silverstone] update is the first one along the line that we started to create in Barcelona.”
While a lot has been said about the possibility of Mercedes changing the concept of their car, Shovlin says a change has been already made at the Spanish Grand Prix.
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“In terms of the concept of the car, we’ve actually changed our car an awful lot since it first ran. It’s behaving very, very differently to when it first ran.
“Even though if you look at it from a distance it looks quite similar to what we had at round one aerodynamically, it is quite a different beast now.
“I think yeah, we changed concept in Barcelona perhaps in terms of the way the car was working, to try and solve some of that bouncing.
“And whilst our issues with bouncing, quite rightly, generated a lot of interest in the early races, because we were at the worst end of the pack, if you look at us here [at the British Grand Prix], I think we’re actually near the better end of it.
“We’re certainly not the best, but we’re a long way from being the worst. So I think we have made progress.
“And what we’re left with is a car that is a bit stiffer than we would like. But it’s certainly a car that we can start to work with.
“From day one with these regulations, the challenge was always going to be generating downforce high up. It does look like we are running low, and that is one of the things that we’d like to develop.
“But we’re making progress in that direction,” Shovlin concluded.