Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport’s chief race engineer, Andrew Shovlin, insists the team need to look into why they were not the fastest team in either Qualifying or race conditions at the Shanghai International Circuit last weekend, with the team failing to win for the third consecutive race.
It is the first time in the V6 Hybrid era that Mercedes have failed to see the chequered flag first in three consecutive Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel having won the opening two races in Australia and Bahrain for Scuderia Ferrari, before Daniel Ricciardo gave Aston Martin Red Bull Racing the win on Sunday in China.
Shovlin, who saw Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finish second and fourth respectively in the Chinese Grand Prix, admits Mercedes has a lot of work to do to bring themselves back to the front of the field, with the team aiming to work out why they were not able to finish at the front ahead of the next Grand Prix in Azerbaijan at the end of the month.
“We simply didn’t have the pace to beat Red Bull on the same strategy today and we need to be very honest with ourselves regarding our performance of our car this weekend,” said Shovlin. “We’ve had very different conditions over qualifying and race but haven’t been fastest in either.
“We’re off to Baku next which is a very different type of circuit and we are fully expecting another close battle. We’ve got work to do in many areas, both qualifying and race pace need to be improved.
“This championship is anyone’s to win and we will be working flat out over the next few weeks and month to try and solve our weaknesses.”