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Mercedes

Shovlin: Mercedes not competing at a championship level

Mercedes have suffered two poor race results on the bounce now at Monaco and Baku, with the team recording their first non-points scoring finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix since 2018

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes engineering director Andrew Shovlin has said the team are not operating at a championship-winning level after they failed to score a point at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The team had struggled to get up to pace in the practice sessions and looked off the pace before Sir Lewis Hamilton produced a qualifying lap good enough for second on the grid assisted by a large tow from teammate Valtteri Bottas.

But Hamilton's chance for an unlikely race win after Max Verstappen's crash with five laps to go went begging as the champion locked up into Turn 1 attempting to overtake Sergio Perez, while Bottas lagged behind all day and ultimately finished 12th.

After a poor race in Monaco, the team now lag Red Bull by 26 points in the constructors' championship, and Shovlin said that they need to resolve ongoing issues around getting tyres up to temperatures and elsewhere if they want to be in the running for the title.

"An extremely disappointing end to the weekend but that's just how luck pans out sometimes; Max's misfortune put us in that position in the first place," Shovlin said in a statement after the race.

"The bigger issue that we have to deal with is that in the last two races we haven't been good enough. Not fast enough, we've made mistakes, we struggle to switch the tyres on and we've been on the back-foot through free practice.

"We know the level it takes to win championships and we're not at that level right now so we need to re-group and come back performing the way we know that we can. We have the team, the car and the drivers to win this but we need to be tough and honest with ourselves over the next few days.

"We've had days like this before and each time we've come back strong and we'll look do that in France."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

The latest news about the Azerbaijan Grand Prix straight from the Baku City Circuit.

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