Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has given a frank evaluation of the Silver Arrows’ tempo after the primary race of the season, and conceded that the reigning champions are missing in key areas in comparison with Purple Bull’s automotive.
Whereas Lewis Hamilton gained the Bahrain Grand Prix to kick off his title defence in the absolute best manner, Max Verstappen took pole position for the race and, in accordance with Shovlin, the W12 automotive will not be at present a match for the RB16B, particularly in qualifying trim.
Talking after the race in Bahrain, Shovlin mentioned: “We don’t actually have any strengths relative to them – is what I’d say – and we’ve had lots of years the place we’ve been capable of depend on straight line pace or high-speed cornering or interconnected corners. However you take a look at it right here [in Bahrain] and we weren’t taking any outing of them wherever.
“There have been a few corners they took chunks out of us in qualifying – the excessive pace, additionally Turns 9 and 10 – they had been very robust there. And that’s actually the primary factor. Qualifying, they’re simply bang on the tempo in our greatest corners, and so they’re simply faster in others; so we want a sooner automotive, easy as that.”
Given the foundations surrouding development this year – with a price cap plus the token system to regulate spending – forward of a sweeping set of regulation adjustments that can herald a new era for F1 in 2022, Shovlin conceded that there’s not a lot room for Mercedes to enhance their automotive within the brief time period to tackle Purple Bull.
“Usually you’d look to the wind tunnel to try to simply placed on a little bit of downforce over the course of the yr. You’d additionally take a look at the facility unit to try to placed on some energy, however each of these are restricted this yr by the rules, so we have now little or no time with the wind tunnel. Dyno can be closely restricted – we will’t develop the engine efficiency this yr – so we’re having to take a look at extra delicate areas to do with drivability traits.
“I feel additionally arriving on the circuit with the automotive nicely sorted, nicely balanced, doing all of your homework, understanding how lengthy your tyres will run… I feel this season – this championship – is definitely going to come back all the way down to the nice margins greater than regular,” he added.
Mercedes are aiming to make it two wins out of two at subsequent weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Imola, although they are going to probably have their work reduce out, with Purple Bull and Verstappen wanting so aggressive after the primary race.
Take heed to the newest F1 Nation episode within the participant above, on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts as Damon Hill and Tom Clarkson speak concerning the Mercedes vs Purple Bull rivalry, interview ex-McLaren racer Pedro de la Rosa and extra.