Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin, is full of praise for the team that sealed both of this year’s world championships, believing that everyone within the team gave “absolutely everything” in beating rivals Scuderia Ferrari.
“This has been the most incredible year and we’re absolutely delighted to have finished it with such a memorable 1-2 victory. Congratulations to the whole team! It’s been a battle since the lights went out in Melbourne and every single member of staff in Brixworth and Brackley has given absolutely everything to fight for both these championships.”
Speaking specifically of the final race of the year, the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Shovlin suggests it couldn’t have gone any better, with the team taking a dominant one-two finish to round out a successful year.
“As for today; Valtteri drove a perfect race managing pressure from Lewis behind from start to finish. He finished his first season with the team in the best possible way. We were optimistic that we’d have a little margin on Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of pace and we established early on that this was the case.
“We were able to pull a decent gap and it meant we could extend the first stint and wait for others to make the first move.”
Shovlin went on to echo Lewis Hamilton’s thoughts regarding the Yas Marina circuit’s layout and how difficult it is to overtake there after the four-time world champion failed to pass his team-mate for the victory.
“Lewis had a more difficult afternoon, it’s very hard to overtake at this track and once Valtteri had successfully defended the over-cut at the stops, the opportunities for Lewis to attack were limited.
“Lewis was never going to give Valtteri an easy win but it’s really good to see how much they enjoy racing each other and how well they work together to improve the car. Lewis can be very proud of what he has achieved this year, he has driven superbly over the whole season and has truly earned his place as one of the great champions of the sport.”