Andrew Shovlin: “There’s something we’re doing that isn’t right”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After again losing out to Red Bull, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin talks about his team’s performance at the Austrian Grand Prix.

At the Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull has won its fifth race in a row, leaving Mercedes hard at work to try and get to the bottom of their performance issues.

“I think we would have been satisfied with a second and a third, which was realistically the best we could have done,” Andrew Shovlin said after the race.

“We were the makers of our own issues a bit with the poor qualifying yesterday. So that made it very, very difficult to be even thinking of challenging Max.

“I think in reality, his pace was too strong, that even if Lewis had stint one behind him, I don’t think we’d have troubled them.

“The car has not been working well, but then we had damage on Lewis’ car with some deterioration of some of the aero bits on the rear cake tin, and that cost him a lot of performance, which ultimately was what dropped him from second to fourth.

“Overall, a bit frustrating, both from a performance point of view and the fact that we need to keep the car in one piece.”

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Shovlin went on to explain what Mercedes believes has contributed to their poor performances at the Red Bull Ring.

“We haven’t been particularly strong here in general. That isn’t so much evident in the gap to where Red Bull are, just how much pressure we were under really with McLaren and Lando did a great job, but ended up ahead of us.

“[For] some of those, this track isn’t suiting the car, and we’ve not made any real inroads to that over the two races here. So that feels like a bit of a longer term thing to look at.

“And then also, that very soft compound, the C5, just wasn’t giving us as much in the hot conditions on Saturday as we were getting from it on Friday. And there’s another question there.

“It wasn’t so much that we did anything wrong, but when you look at where the performance order was, we would have to acknowledge that there’s something we’re doing that isn’t right,” concluded the Briton.

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