Mercedes says Red Bull’s Singapore “mistake” won’t “happen again”

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin discusses Red Bull’s drop in performance in Singapore, and explains how the same track impacted Mercedes in 2015.

After dominating the 2023 season, in Singapore Red Bull was not able to battle for top positions for the first time this year.

While some hoped this drop in performance happened because of the FIA’s new ‘anti flexi wing’ technical directive, the Austrian team’s performance in Japanese Grand Prix free practice sessions seems to indicate that this was not the case.

At the Japanese Grand Prix Friday press conference, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin was asked what makes the Singapore track different, since it also negatively impacted Mercedes in their dominant 2015 season.

“The problem that we had was actually quite specific to the old set of regulations and how the car was working aerodynamically,” Shovlin said.

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“It’s very bad for overheating, it’s a street track, it’s quite bumpy. If the drivers haven’t got confidence, that will always rob quite a lot of lap time off them.

“And in particular, it’s really hard to keep your rear tyres under control because of all those traction zones. So, it’s quite a nuanced circuit.

“But you know, we’ve had one really, really difficult year there, it was very good for learning and probably you’d say Red Bull will find the same: that they’ll get to the bottom of what went wrong, and it won’t be a mistake that’ll happen again,” the Briton concluded.

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