Mercedes AMG F1 Team’s Chief Race Engineer Andrew Shovlin was delighted to see both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at the top of the time sheets for the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying after the latest round of improvements on the Mercedes F1 W10 EQ Power+.
“It’s a great result to have taken the front row and encouraging to see such potential in the car.” said Shovlin. “Everyone has been working very hard since the car first turned a wheel to solve some of the issues that we’ve had and it feels like we’re making good progress.
Talking at end of the second day in Spain, Shovlin explained how the weather conditions disrupted their preparations, “The car had good pace this morning but needed a bit of work to adjust to the much cooler track conditions.
“We were lucky to be able to get back out with Valtteri after his spin but fortunately there was no damage and he was able to complete the qualifying practice run at the end of the session.
“Both drivers were quite happy with the balance and we didn’t need to change much going into qualifying.
While the team secured another impressive 1-2 result in qualifying, there were issues along the way.
“Qualifying wasn’t quite plain sailing. Valtteri had a fairly clean session and put together a stunning lap for pole. Lewis was catching a bit more traffic which made it hard to get a proper feel for the car and to understand how to manage the out lap.
“He abandoned his final run in the second session due to a yellow flag at Turn 12, which meant the battery pack was not charged ready for the final session.
“We therefore put him out on track first so he could manage his own out lap, but it meant we caught a number of the cars who left late.
“By the final run, it seemed that the track had lost a bit of pace and there was some gravel down so few cars were able to improve.”
As the team enter the race in a strong position, Shovlin is wary that the weather conditions could still play a part in the outcome.
“We expect it will be hotter for the race so managing the tyres won’t be easy but our long runs on Friday seemed strong so hopefully that will carry into the race tomorrow.