Shovlin says Hamilton made upgrade decision “quite simple” for Mercedes

© Sam Bloxham for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin says Lewis Hamilton had chosen to let George Russell run the team’s new front wing in Monaco, and now they’ll “just alternate from here on in”.

After the Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton revealed that Mercedes only brought one upgraded component to the track – a new front wing – and fitted it to George Russell’s car.

This caused some fans to speculate that Mercedes is favouring Russell over Hamilton, especially in light of Lewis’ departure at the end of the year.

However, soon reported that both drivers were offered the part, and Lewis chose not to have it. This was later cofirmed by George.

Now, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explains what happened.

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“We are looking to have race quantities of that wing in Montreal,” Shovlin said.

“And normally you would say race quantities is at least three because you have one for each car, and you have got a spare available should anything happen.

“Now we don’t make three at one go, we make the first, the second and then the third. And an upshot of that was that we had one we could bring to Monaco to have it ready for Friday and the weekend.

“A while ago, the drivers said: ‘Why do we always wait until we have a full set, why not just let one of us run it.’

“So we agreed with them that given the situation with the team in terms of performance, we need to improve, we need to learn. And actually it is quite good to have two different specs on the cars.

“The difficult question was how do we decide who was going to run it?

“But Lewis said, if we are going to start doing this where we have not got enough parts, let George run it in Monaco.

“There will be races in the future where we have a single update and of course, we just alternate from here on in.

“But Lewis made that decision quite simple for us,” the Briton concluded.

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