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Mercedes reveal what they expect from Jeddah street track

Mercedes believe the W12 will be strong at the Saudi Arabian GP as Lewis Hamilton looks to win a hat-trick of races next weekend.

Hamilton Qatar
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes' Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, expects the W12 to suit the characteristics of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, where Lewis Hamilton will aim to win a third consecutive race.

Hamilton won the last two races in Brazil and Qatar to close the gap to Red Bull rival Max Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship to eight points.

Next weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix marks another new event and venue for Formula 1, with a high-speed layout through the city of Jeddah awaiting the teams.

With an average speed of more than 250km/h, the street track will be the second-fastest track on this year's F1 calendar.

"It's another unknown," Shovlin told media, including RacingNews365.com. "We've seen pretty big swings of performance over the recent races.

"Now, if we look at the track in Saudi, I think it should suit us. For Lewis, we have got the more powerful engine to go in the car, so that's going to give him a useful boost.

"The track should suit the car, but we would have probably said that in Austin; we would have felt that we should be able to put together a decent setup and take the fight to Red Bull, and they had a bit of an edge there.

"So we're always cautious to go to a race thinking that it's all going to go our way."

Mercedes focusing on themselves

Mercedes are also in a titanic battle in the Constructors' Championship, holding a lead of just five points over Red Bull.

The team want to keep the focus on themselves, rather than looking at Red Bull, in order to extract the maximum potential out of the car at the final two Grands Prix.

"What we do know are the things that we've got to get right on the setup, what we need to get right on the tyres, and how they're working, and that's what we're going to be busy doing over the next few days," continued Shovlin.

"[We will] just try to make sure we have taken every possible opportunity to arrive there in good shape. With a new circuit, arriving in good shape is such a big thing.

"From the learning curve, if you've got a good car to start with, you can just improve it from there."

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F1 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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