Andrew Shovlin admitted it was a tricky Friday for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team at the Circuit Zandvoort, and they will be working hard both overnight and on track on Saturday to improve.
Three red flags across the two sessions – one caused by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after a technical issue on his W12 – meant Mercedes did not complete as much running around the updated Zandvoort circuit as they would have liked, with the reigning World Champion managing only three laps in the afternoon before he stopped on track. Hamilton did, however, top the morning session.
Valtteri Bottas had a more productive day on the other side of the garage and the data he gathered will be important for the team as they bid to improve their car, with Shovlin, the Track Engineering Director at Mercedes, hoping gains can be made ahead of Saturday’s running.
“We’ve had a tricky day with red flags costing us a lot of running time in the first session and then Lewis had an issue with his car, so we had to stop on track,” said Shovlin.
“Everyone has struggled with a lack of running so there isn’t masses of data to work with and many had low fuel runs that were compromised with traffic, so we have to expect many teams to move forward tomorrow.
“We’re struggling a bit with Turn 2-3, we seem to be losing there on both low and high fuel but we’ve got a bit of time tonight to understand that. There are a few other places we can improve the balance but overall, it doesn’t seem too far off.
“We have to recover a bit of running with Lewis but there is time to do that in the morning session.”