Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin: ‘Second and Fifth Falls A Long Way Short’

by Aaron Gillard
Mercedes - Valtteri Bottas - Canada GP

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport’s chief race engineer, Andrew Shovlin felt their second and fifth place result at the Canadian Grand Prix was short of what they’re capable of achieving.

Valtteri Bottas managed to secured a second place at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve whilst team-mate Lewis Hamilton had to nurse with a cooling related issue to the power unit to finish the race in fifth.

Both Mercedes cars ran older power unit specs due to their upgrade delayed until the French Grand Prix, meaning the reigning constructors champion were on the back foot for the race compare to their rivals.

Shovlin believed that Mercedes were aiming for the win but admits they weren’t able to catch or create pressure on eventual race winner Sebastian Vettel.

“We came here to win so to leave with a second and fifth falls a long way short of what we had thought we were capable of,” said Shovlin.

“We’d not seen what Sebastian could do on the UltraSoft or SuperSoft tyres during Friday running so his pace was an unknown, but almost straight away it was clear he had a little bit on Valtteri and was able to keep us at arm’s length during the first stint,

Not being able to put him under any pressure meant we couldn’t create any opportunity for Valtteri so second was all we could play for today. Valtteri got a bit marginal on fuel towards the end of the race, having pushed hard to keep up in stint one but he managed it well and was able to defend the threat from Max who was putting in some quick laps towards the finish.”

For Hamilton, his race was restricted with power unit troubles, but Shovlin explained that the team had to contain the issue in order for the Mercedes driver to finish.

“Lewis had a tricky afternoon, from the word go we could see that we had a chassis side issue with the cooling to the power-unit that was costing us performance,” Shovlin continued.

“We couldn’t resolve this during the race but eventually found some means to contain the situation and more importantly, we were able to contain the damage and thereby manage the risk to the PU so we could complete the race,

“This weekend has not been ideal for either championship and we are only a third of the way into the season with a very long way still to go. We clearly need to be getting performance on the car and we will be working hard to ensure that we can perform more strongly in Paul Ricard.” 

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