Mercedes Andrew Shovlin: “The car wasn’t working as well as it normally has done this year“


Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team - Malaysian GP practice. Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Chief Race Engineer Andrew Shovlin says the squad have a lot of work to do if they are going to catch up with title rivals Scuderia Ferrari tomorrow.

It was a disappointing Friday for the Silver Arrows as drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both struggled with grip, and were unable to unlock the potential of the W08, finishing free practice 2 in a below par sixth and seventh place, having not looked comfortable during the earlier free practice 1 session either.

“Overall it’s been a very challenging day.

“The car wasn’t working as well as it normally has done this year and the drivers were both complaining of very low grip and sliding.

“The car hasn’t looked strong in any conditions, be it on Intermediates or in the dry conditions we had in FP2. So we’re looking very carefully at the set-up and the configuration of the car just to try to understand what’s gone wrong.”

Shovlin stated that they would be working hard from now until the final practice session tomorrow, to try to get to the bottom of why they performed so poorly today, and will hopefully find a solution to turn things around for the remainder of the weekend.

“We are clearly not getting the most out of the package here. We’re going to be working very hard to unpick what we’ve seen today and come back stronger tomorrow.

“But at the moment it’s clear we’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re to present a good challenge to Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend.”