Chief Race Engineer with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Andrew Shovlin, has praised the team for a “strong weekend” at Suzuka.
It was filled with controversy, however, due to Mercedes’ decision to allow Lewis Hamilton to take the lead from Valtteri Bottas and win the race, so that he could keep their Championship hopes alive.
“A great result and an overall strong weekend for the team and drivers. The car had been fast and reliable with is just what we needed over the last few races,” said Shovlin.
Shovlin said the team were able to take advantage of the situations of others around them, including those of Max Verstappen and the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers: Kimi Räikkönen, and Sebastian Vettel.
“The race behind us seemed to be fairly entertaining with Max [Verstappen] and the Ferraris and after the penalty there was a period where we weren’t sure whether it would be Seb or Max that would be presenting the biggest threat.”
The team were able to stay out on track longer than their rivals, meaning they were able to work around the threat of a safety car.
“We were able to able to stay out longer than the other runners and cover off the safety car threat before coming in for the medium with both our cars.”
Tyre choice also massively helped the team’s efforts.
“The soft seemed like the best tyre, which helped us in the first stint but allowed Max to put Valtteri under a bit of pressure in the final stint, although Valterri seemed pretty relaxed about it after the race.”
Shovlin was confident that this race was the team’s best performance so far this year.
“This has probably been the closest we have come to a perfect weekend all year, in terms of reliability, car performance, the drivers and how we’ve worked as a team.”