Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport have no excuses for their disappointing result which saw both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas retire from the Austrian Grand Prix, says Mercedes Chief Race Enginner Andrew Shovlin.
Both Silver arrow cars retired following mechanical related issues, despite having set the pace throughout the weekend with Bottas leading a Mercedes front row after achieving pole position.
But on Lap 14, Bottas’ race ended when his Mercedes suffered an hydraulics issue. This caused the Virtual Safety car to come out but Mercedes didn’t bring Hamilton in whilst in the lead, which helped their rivals Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari have a free pit stop.
Mercedes’ error cause Hamilton to lose the lead when he pitted and struggled with pace compare to the front runners. Hamilton’s tyres were so bad that Mercedes had to make a second pit stop. But on Lap 64, his race came to an end resulting in Mercedes’ first double retirement since the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016.
Speaking after the race, Shovlin said there are no excuses for their errors today that cost them a chance for victory.
“We don’t have any excuses for today.” said Shovlin.
“We weren’t reliable enough, we didn’t make the right strategy call, our starts weren’t good enough and we didn’t manage the tyres as well as we could have done.
As a result of Mercedes’ double retirement, Ferrari overtake Mercedes in the constructors standings and Sebastian Vettel takes back the lead of the drivers’ championship going into the British Grand Prix.
Shovlin admits Austria is one of the hardest days the team has faced in F1 but hopes the team can regroup and fix the issues ahead of their home race at Silverstone.
“We have a lot to improve by Silverstone and we need to put all our focus into remedying our weaknesses today. This is one of the hardest days at the race track that we have faced as a team but it’s not the only difficult day that we have ever had.” Shovlin continued.
“We know how to fix problems and we’ve always returned stronger than before.
“We have a few days to regroup and resolve these issues before Silverstone, where we will be looking to perform at the level we know we are capable of.”