Mercedes agrees with Verstappen – Brazilian GP could be closer

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says Max Verstappen could have been right when he said Mercedes should be closer to Red Bull in Brazil.

After the Mexican Grand Prix Max Verstappen said while Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez “has always been a really good track” for Red Bull, he expects “Brazil not to be like it was here”.

When asked to give his comments, Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin agreed with the statement.

“Yeah, there are reasons why we would expect it to be closer,” the Briton said.

“The thing is, what we like to spend our time doing is worrying about things that might go wrong and catch us out.

“It may well be [it is closer] but it is so unpredictable at the moment. You look at qualifying, and a single lap can be more variable than the race pace.

“But we don’t need to go back far and we clearly had the race-dominant car through the weekend in Turkey, I think in Sochi as well.

“Within the remaining four circuits there will be those that suit us as well so we will keep trying everything we can to win the championships.”

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Shovlin then gave his assessment of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

“It depends a bit on the weather there. The weather inherently is very unstable. You can have a 50-degree track one day and a washout the next.

“If it is a hot circuit, that is probably going to move it in their direction. A bit of cloud cover may well suit us.

“One of the advantages they had [in Mexico] is they were able to go up a step on downforce from the rear wing they normally run to their max-downforce wing where, actually for us, that is the wing we run normally.

“It is just their car seems to have more downforce than us on identical sized wings. I think that played into their favour.

“In Brazil, that is less of an issue but it is very hard to predict and very much as we did [in Mexico], we will look at the weaknesses of our car, work out how we can minimize them. We need to get the tyres in a good window.

“But making predictions over whether you are going to be fast or slow is quite meaningless, it is more about knowing the jobs you need to focus on and do a good job,” concluded Mercedes’ chief engineer.

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