Formula 1

Mercedes’ Shovlin: Post-season Abu Dhabi test “fault-free”

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Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Abu Dhabi GP
Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Andrew Shovlin, Chief Race Engineer with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport has said the post-season test in Abu Dhabi was “fault free”.

In the car for both days was the Finn Valtteri Bottas.  He set the second fastest lap of the first day with a 1:37.231, running on the hypersoft tyre.

Shovlin said that the team’s focus for the first day was to collect data on the tyre compounds for 2019.  Today was about gathering data on the 2019 tyres and understanding how they differ from the 2018 ones we’ve used this year.

“We’ll continue our programme with Valtteri tomorrow with more of a focus on the performance and degradation of each of the tyre compounds.”

Shovin said the data collected during the test plays an important role as it will inform their tyre choices for the early part of next season.

“This work is important as we need to select tyres for the early races based on the information we find at this test.  It was a good day of running and the car ran without any issues.”

During the second and final day of testing, Bottas set a 1:38.488, again on hypersofts, placing him fourth.

Shovlin said that they were pleased to get to the end of testing without running into difficulties, but acknowledged that parts of the season had been difficult.

“It’s nice to get to the end of the test having had a fault-free and productive two days with Valtteri.  It’s also the last proper laps we will do with the W09.

“We have a lot of good memories working with this car over the last season, it certainly hasn’t been easy but the racing has been great fun and it’s a year we won’t forget for a long time.”

Shovlin said their aim for the second day was to do some longer running, working out how the tyres work so they can decide which compounds they want to use for the first few races of the 2019 season.

“We’ve spent the day focusing on longer runs and characterising the compounds so that we can work on our tyre selection for the early races.

“We also did some more comparisons of the 2018 to 2019 castings and have furthered our learning from yesterday.”

Shovlin said that the team now has a lot of data to work through, but that they are looking confident ahead of the opening few races of the season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do back at base to go through all the data that we’ve collected and make sure we’re well prepared for the early races next year.

“Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has stayed for the test and worked so hard to make it a success.”

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F1 reporter for The Checkered Flag. Also a second year Journalism student at Robert Gordon University. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @findlaygrant5.
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