Formula 1

“We’re In Much Better Shape Than We Were This Time Last Year” Mercedes’ Shovlin

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Andrew Shovlin feels that Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport have noted the areas where they need to improve if they are to challenge at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton finished third and fourth in the two sessions with Valtteri Bottas slightly further back in seventh and sixth.

Shovlin believes that while the team had a good day, they know where they can potentially improve.

“We’ve had pretty good sessions today with both cars.

“It’s never easy in Monaco as the track is so short it’s near impossible to put together more than two or three clear laps but both drivers have a good feel for the car and we have identified a few areas where we need to improve the balance.”

Monaco sees the first track action for the new Hypersoft tyre and Shovlin feels it could require the driver to be easy on them during the race.

“It’s our first proper experience of the HyperSoft tyre which is giving good grip on single laps; however needs a bit of looking after on the longer run.”

Last season saw Mercedes struggle enormously round the Circuit de Monaco but Shovlin thinks that they are in a better position, however, believes the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are the ones to watch on Saturday.

“In terms of pace it’s difficult to know where we stand today, it does feel like Red Bull are the ones to watch in qualifying but we’re in much better shape than we were this time last year and we’ve certainly got a car that is behaving more normally.

“The track is going to evolve a lot over the next couple of days and it can have a big impact on the balance of the car and how the tyres are working.

“As such, it’s never easy to know how much to change for the final practice session but if we can improve a few issues in certain corners we should be in decent shape for qualifying and the race and be in a position to put some pressure on the others.”

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