Mercedes’ Shovlin frustrated at being so close to victory in Italy

by Findlay Grant

Chief race engineer for Mercedes AMG Motorsport, Andrew Shovlin, has expressed his frustration at the team being so close to victory at Monza last weekend, being beat by Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s frustrating that we managed to spend almost the entire race with a car right behind Charles today and failed to find a way to get through but that is sometimes the way it goes,” said Shovlin.

Shovlin added that the team tried to make the undercut work with Lewis Hamilton, after a gap appeared behind the Renault F1 Team drivers, but the with the low tyre wear at the circuit, it was not as effective as it normal would be.

“We had to try and undercut with Lewis when a gap appeared behind the Renaults but with the low degradation here, it’s not as powerful as at some other tracks.

“Lewis made a good move into Turn four, but Charles defended aggressively and realistically, that was Lewis’s best chance to win. We were able to send Valtteri long to build an offset in tyre life, but it wasn’t enough to give us the speed to pass and after that we didn’t have anything else to try,” he said.

Shovlin said the team are clear in which area improvements needs to be made, including qualifying pace, which has dropped since the beginning of the season.

“We know where we need to work; our qualifying pace has dropped from where we were at the start of the season and we need more speed in a straight line.

“We’ve known that for some time now but having weekends like the two we have just had will motivate everyone in Brackley and Brixworth to get on top of these weaknesses.

Although next time out at the Marina Bay Street Circuit will provide a different challenge for the Brackley-based team, Shovin is determined the team will get back into their winning ways.

“It’s Singapore next which is a very different challenge to this place, and it is also a tricky circuit to get right but we are hungry to get back to winning so will be working hard this week to make sure we can arrive in the best possible shape,” Shovlin concluded.

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