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Shovlin: Something Mercedes is doing isn't right

The Mercedes trackside engineering director believes the world champions are not doing something correctly which is costing them performance.

Hamilton Austria
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes' trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has explained that tyres and the track layout were key reasons as to why Mercedes were so far behind Max Verstappen and Red Bull at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, who now trails Verstappen by 32 points in the Drivers' Championship, suffered floor damage in the middle of the race whilst Valtteri Bottas only just held off Lando Norris for second place.

"We haven't been particularly strong here in general," Shovlin told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "That isn't so much evidence in the gap to where Red Bull are.

"But just how much pressure we were under really with McLaren and Lando, who did a great job, but ended up ahead of us.

"Austria wasn't suiting the car and we've not made any real inroads into that over the two races here. That's a bit of a longer term thing to look at.

"Then also the very soft compound, the C5, just wasn't giving us as much in hot conditions on Saturday as we were getting from it on Friday and there's another question there.

"It wasn't as much that we did anything, obviously wrong. But when you look at where the performance was, we would have to acknowledge that there is something we are doing that isn't right."

Mercedes lost further ground to Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship due to Verstappen's victory. Shovlin thinks Mercedes failed to improve their car over the two Austria weekends.

"It doesn't feel like we've made any relative progress, to be honest," said Shovlin. "We did get the balance around the lap a bit better but it doesn't like we found tenths of performance so there's still that gap.

"We were the makers of our own issues a bit with the poor quantifying, so that made it very, very difficult to be even thinking about challenging max. Even if Lewis had started one behind him, I don't think it would have would have troubled them

So overall, bit frustrating really both from a performance point of view and the fact that we need to keep the car in one piece.

F1 2021 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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