Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen made contact in the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, which led to the Dutch driver crashing into the barrier.
Lewis was able to continue, but Mercedes detected some damage on his car. However, very soon the race was red flagged, which allowed the team to do some work on the car before the restart.
“We’d failed the rim where we’d had the contact on the front-left,” said Shovlin,
“So that would have been a DNF had it not been red-flagged. The rest of the damage was actually remarkably little.
“It was a tyre temperature sensor that had got knocked loose, so it was waggling around, but amazingly, it’s the least important part on the front wing – and it was the only one that broke.”
The seven-time champion later received a 10-second penalty, but despite this he went on to win the race.
“From our planners’ view in the race, who were forecasting it live, we were looking at catching [Charles] up two laps to go. When we thought it was on, I’d say was five laps into that [push].
“You normally see the drop on the tyres, but you could just see Lewis holding this eight-tenths advantage to Charles every lap and Lewis just wasn’t dropping off and the balance was happy.
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“And to be honest with Lewis, you can hear it in his voice and in what he’s saying on the radio; you just get this switch where he knows in his head he’s going to do it today.
“To be honest, it was really nice sitting on the pit wall just watching that final stint unfold, because it was a great win and a well-deserved win for Lewis,” concluded Mercedes’ chief engineer.
Of course, now many will undoubtedly suggest that the race was stopped to help Mercedes, but race director Michael Masi explains otherwise.
“The barrier repair was the main part,” Masi said.
“So there was two elements. One was with the incident with Max’s car having lost telemetry due to the size of it, neither the FIA nor the team could confirm the ERS status.
“So, even though the light was green, we run a super cautious approach, and send two team members out, which is within the protocols that we have to check the car to make sure that it was safe before the car got recovered.
“And then, following that, was the obvious barrier repair that had to happen to the barriers. So I think, for everyone’s benefit, as we’ve seen before with barrier repairs, we’ve got the ability to suspend the race.
“And it’s the perfect tool to use in that circumstance.”