Mercedes reveals the positives in their US GP performance

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says it’s encouraging that Mercedes managed to put Red Bull “under pressure when we clearly didn’t have the best car”.

Despite losing out to Max Verstappen and Red Bull, Andrew Shovlin reveals there are positives to take away from Mercedes’ US Grand Prix performance.

“This is the toughest one that we’ve had for a long time,” the Briton said.

“Since the [summer] break probably, only Zandvoort has probably felt as difficult as this one was.

“On Sunday, Max had us beat, but I don’t think it was a comfortable win for them, and we were forcing them to take some risks.

“So if that is a bad race for us, then hopefully we can have more of the good ones and then we can still be in a decent position.”

Shovlin also says that Mercedes has been more dominant on tracks that suit their car than Red Bull has been on ‘their’ tracks.

“I think the pace that we showed in Turkey and Sochi, in particular in terms of the race pace, it probably puts us a bit further ahead of them than they have been ahead of us here.

“Quali was tricky here and we managed to get through that still with a car on the front row. But it really will just come down to how the cars stack up over the remaining races and who adapts well.

“For us, the encouraging thing was we can still put them under pressure when we clearly didn’t have the best car.”

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Although COTA has been a strong track for Mercedes in the past, Shovlin reveals this time they expected they wouldn’t be able to perform as well as they did before.

“We were aware of the areas where we may struggle. As I said, Zandvoort was one where we were struggling with the rear end, and they seemed to be in a better position.

“That experience of Zandvoort gave us cause for concern coming here and we knew the circuit is going to be one where you are overheating tyres.

“We are not really going into any of these races filling in a chart of where we are going to be quick and where we are going to be slow.

“We know what we need to get right on our car and we know what we need to do in terms of getting the tyres to the right window to operate, and we know the homework we need to do on a Friday to be able to make those calls accurately.

“That is where the focus is and, if you look ahead to Mexico, that is a track in the past that has suited them and has suited the Honda power unit.

“But regardless of that, we’ve still got to arrive with a car that is performing at the best of the car’s ability and give a car to Lewis and Valtteri that allows them to do their best job.

“That is the only thing we are working on. We are not really worrying about where Red Bull are,” concluded Mercedes’ chief engineer.

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