Andrew Shovlin, Chief Race Engineer with Mercedes AMG Motorsport, has reflected positively on Lewis Hamilton‘s win at the Monaco Grand Prix at the weekend, adding that he was “grateful” to Hamilton for his performance.
The Mercedes drivers locked out the front row in qualifying, although Bottas dropped to third after he collided with Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen and sustained a puncture.
“We wanted to win this race for Niki but winning in Monaco is always much easier said than done. There was a bit of a risk of rain in the morning, and while it didn’t really turn into much it meant that we were pushing a bit harder than we’d planned to build a bit of a gap to the midfield,“ said Shovlin.
He added that lessons could be learnt from the race, following a difficult restart for Hamilton after the Safety Car period.
“The Safety Car was easier than we would have liked and with hindsight, we should have fitted the Hard tyre, but we were concerned about the warm-up on the restart, which is why we took the medium.” said Shovlin.
“This obviously made life difficult for Lewis and we’ll review our decision making and the information we had at the time. We’re grateful that Lewis was able to manage it so well to the end as he really had to work for the victory today.”
Shovlin also felt that Bottas’ race was put at a disadvantage, following an unsafe release for Verstappen, which resulted in a five-second penalty for the Dutchman.
“Valtteri’s race was also compromised at the Safety Car. We felt the release from Red Bull was ok, but Max had room on the right to give Valtteri more space rather than putting him into the wall.”
Shovlin concluded that their race win was overshadowed by the death of the team’s Non-Exective Chairman, Niki Lauda.
“Well done to Lewis, we made life more difficult than we needed to for him today, but our thoughts are now with Niki and his family.
“He has been such a big part of the team over the last few years, we have benefitted so much from his wisdom and straight talking, and he is simply someone who cannot ever be replaced.”