Andrew Shovlin, Chief Race Engineer with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team has said that the team’s qualifying efforts were a “day of mixed fortunes”.
As a consequence of a hydraulic problem with his car, the team’s star driver, Lewis Hamilton, was pushed out of qualifying.
This meant that the team’s hopes were in the hands on Hamilton’s Finnish team-mate Valterri Bottas, who was able to secure P2 on the grid.
Shovlin said: “Well done to Valterri for putting the car on the front row but it was a very tough session for Lewis.
Knowing that you have a car that can be on the front row makes it even more frustrating to be side-lined in the early parts of qualifying.”
The team are still unsure as to the reason behind Hamilton’s technical failure.
Shovlin added: “We are still looking into the failure to work out the precise root causes of what happened, but it goes without saying that our priority is to try and understand this issue ahead of the race.”
“Valtteri’s race is a bit more straight forward“, Shovlin said.
The pace and the tyre behaviour in the cooler conditions are a bit of an unknown for all teams, but there are good opportunities for him to win and that’s his entire focus right now.”