Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport ‘under-delivered as a team’ in the Australian Grand Prix, according to Technical Director James Allison.
The Silver Arrows finished in second and eighth in the first race of the season – a disappointing result considering Lewis Hamilton started on pole position, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas would have likely been with him were it not for his crash in qualifying, with that and the subsequent gearbox penalty leaving him to start in fifteenth.
Particularly galling for the team is the way in which they lost the lead of the race – Sebastian Vettel, who started in third, was able to leap-frog the Mercedes of Hamilton by pitting under a Virtual Safety Car. This is something that Hamilton still doesn’t understand, and that will likely become a talking point after the race.
Speaking after the race, Allison commented that whilst their pace was “promising“, it’s worthless if the team don’t have the strategy to make the most of it.
“Having come to Melbourne with high hopes, it will be a long journey home for us, knowing that we under-delivered as a team,” said Allison. “The pace we saw during the weekend was promising for the season ahead but it counts for nothing if you don’t handle correctly the cards that the race can deal to you – and, today, we didn’t.
“We need to analyse our mistakes, correct them and we look forward to getting to the next race and starting to put things right.“