Mercedes engineering chief Andrew Shovlin has described Lewis Hamilton's DRS issue during qualifying in Hungary as the team's "big regret" from the weekend. Hamilton's teammate, George Russell, made headlines in qualifying as he stormed to pole positon following a difficult first day of practice for the Silver Arrows. Hamilton, meanwhile, had to settle for seventh on the grid after his DRS failed to open on his final run, preventing a similar improvement to Russell's lap. However, Hamilton stormed to second in the race with an aggressive strategy, while Russell took third after initially fighting the two Ferraris on his own. Reflecting on the event, Shovlin, Mercedes' Trackside Engineering Director, said: "The big regret is that we had that DRS problem right on [Hamilton's] only new tyre in Q3. "Had we got both [drivers] on the front row, we would have been in a good position to control the race."
Mercedes wonder if victory was possible
As for how the race played out, Shovlin feels Mercedes maximised their opportunities en route to second and third. "If you actually look at how it plays out strategically, though, it would have been very difficult for Lewis, and that comes down to the start tyre," he added. "With Max [Verstappen] having started on the Soft, he had two Mediums to go to, to finish the race, and that meant he could stop earlier and was always going to be able to do a more effective undercut on Lewis than we could have done to defend. "That's the main thing on a strategy point of view; we don't think we missed any opportunities, but there were other incidents. Max had that spin that cost him very little. Had that been more of an issue Lewis could have been in contention at the end. "Had there been a bit more rain... Lewis was hoping for that to come a bit sooner because his tyres were in good condition. "But overall, we need to make the car a little bit quicker and we certainly need to make sure that we've got the DRS fixed in qualifying."