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Mercedes bank on key setup change for Australia GP fortunes

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, has detailed how the team plans to stay ahead of their rivals in the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton Australia
To news overview © Pirelli

Mercedes claimed an unexpected second and third place on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix, capitalising on the cool conditions and bad fortunes of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, puts their performance down to the cooler conditions at Albert Park which enabled them to make use of the tricky tyre warm up phase that caught out Ferrari.

"It's been a tricky weekend due to the cool conditions but a solid job by the team and drivers to land the tyres in the right window when it counted," said Shovlin.

"We'd seen some good laps by the Ferraris and Astons across the weekend, so we're ahead of our own expectations to be starting second and third.

"The sessions have been a bit messy with red flags and rain so there's a real lack of long run data for everyone. That will make it difficult to know what the tyres will do.

Mercedes tried to create setup that looks after tyres

George Russell claims the team must "go for it" and try to beat Max Verstappen to the victory, given their track position and with Sergio Perez starting from the back.

One of the key factors in the race will be tyre degradation, and being able to manage that in the opening stint on the softer rubber.

Shovlin thinks Mercedes have unlocked a key area in their car setup that enables them to look after the tyres during the race better.

"The softer compounds do seem very fragile in the cool conditions; we've tried to create a setup that is going to look after the tyres in the race, but we'll find out tomorrow if we've achieved that," he explained.

"Max has shown incredible pace in both races so far. Assuming that carries into tomorrow he'll be able to manage the tyres and build a gap all at the same time.

"However, our fight at the moment is with Ferrari and Aston and if we can stay ahead of them, we'll be very happy."

F1 2023 Australian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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