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"There is something that we're doing that isn't right," says Shovlin

NEWS STORY
07/07/2021

Admitting that Mercedes failed to improve its car over the back-to-back weekends in Austria, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin says that something the German team isn't doing isn't right.

Sunday saw Red Bull score its fifth successive victory, winning with the sort of dominance we have grown accustomed to seeing from Mercedes since the introduction of the hybrid formula in 2014.

In the Styrian Grand Prix the Mercedes pair qualified second and third, but just one week later they were fourth and fifth, out-qualified by both Red Bulls and a McLaren.

Rather than taking even a small step forward between the two races, the German team actually appears to have taken a step backwards.

"We haven't been particularly strong here in general," admits trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin. "That isn't so much evidenced in the gap to where Red Bull are, but just how much pressure we were under really with McLaren and Lando, who did a great job, but ended up ahead of us.

"Austria wasn't suiting the car and we've not made any real inroads into that over the two races here," he added. "That's a bit of a longer-term thing to look at.

"Then also the very soft compound, the C5, wasn't giving us as much in hot conditions on Saturday as we were getting from it on Friday and there's another question there.

"It wasn't so much that we did anything, obviously wrong," he insisted. "But when you look at where the performance was, we would have to acknowledge that there is something we are doing that isn't right.

"We were the makers of our own issues a bit with the poor quantifying," he admitted, "so that made it very, very difficult to be even thinking about challenging Max. Even if Lewis had started one behind him, I don't think it would have would have troubled them.

"So overall, bit frustrating really both from a performance point of view and the fact that we need to keep the car in one piece."

The German team is now working on a number of updates in time for Lewis Hamilton's home race, though the world champion doesn't appear to hold out much hope for a Silverstone upset.

"These past races have been difficult," he said post-race on Sunday, "and obviously he's pretty much just cruising ahead. So there's not really much I can do about that.

"We have a little bit coming, but it's not going to close the gap enough. So we've got to do some more work.

"I'm praying for a different scenario in the next race, but you look at their car, it's just on rails. We're giving it absolutely everything this past two weeks, I've been to the factory each week trying to extract as much as I can from the car. But our car just doesn't go well here for some reason. I really hope that it does in these next ones."

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1. Posted by kenji, 08/07/2021 0:25

"@elsiebc....Shovlin stated that 'there's something that they are doing which is not right'? What that says is that 'they are doing something that's wrong'. It's all in the semantics. Changes being made for identical results is madness, just like change for change sake. Red Bull i expect, have been able to pull together a lot of minor positive issues into a distinct advantage and have coupled that with the expertise of one very fast driver. Mercedes/Hamilton are now exposed, despite throwing all the 'merde' that they can come up with at RB but it's early days and my feeling is that this 'race' to the very top of '21 has a long way to go. "

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 07/07/2021 18:10

"@kenji If Mercedes hasn't changed their modus operandi which worked so well for them in the past and has ceased to, then by not changing they have done something wrong. In Shovlin I hear personal responsibility."

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3. Posted by kenji, 07/07/2021 11:33

"@ CL...It's amazing that given the identical data to peruse there can be two diverse opinions that have nothing in common! Maybe I am deficient in my interpretation, that's always on the cards. Haha. What I was saying, or at least trying to, was that on the surface if Mercedes appear to have done nothing more than continue to operate without any changes to their modus operandi and they are getting schooled by Red Bull, why assume that they have done anything wrong? By stating this they divert any positives to accrue for Red Bull. Maybe the Red Bull team have found something new/radical, even something similar to how the Mercedes team has been operating that has allowed then to suddenly become uber competitive. Lets just be thankful for the change in the boring things of the past and welcome the new order. That has to be a big plus...no?"

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4. Posted by CL, 07/07/2021 10:38

"So they need to up their game and do more things right but not complain that they aren’t doing everything right because reasons. Seems to me they are praising red bull and mclaren and admitting their own failure…where previously they were accused of false modesty when they were doing well. Lots of confused interpretations going on."

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5. Posted by kenji, 07/07/2021 9:37

""No merde Sherlock'. Maybe, just maybe, your current situation is down to the fact that someone has done a better job than you have, all round. By assuming that 'there must be something we're [ Mercedes ] not doing right' takes away any credit from the team that's consistently beating you ATM.. That, IMO, is arrogant and typical of the Mercedes attitude. We have been lectured for years by the media et al that it was up to others [non Mercedes ] to up their endeavours if they want to be competitive. Well the boot seems to be on other foot for a short while. Memo to Wolff...Lift your game."

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 07/07/2021 8:49

"I thought it was only Ferrari that 'prayed for better performance."

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