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Shovlin: Mercedes not the best at pit stops

Valtteri Bottas at the Emilia Romagna GP. Credits: Daimler.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has admitted the team is not the best at pit stops after a dismal Imola round from the pits point of view.

It is still fresh in people’s minds some of the mishaps that Mercedes have had in the pitlane. Germany in 2019, when Lewis Hamilton had a minute long stop, Sakhir in 2020, when the team messed up both drivers chances of winning. Add to that Imola in 2021, when a wheel gun mishap meant Hamilton’s pitstop was 11 seconds long after crashing at the Tosa hairpin before a red flag.

Andrew Shovlin has now admitted Mercedes have pit problems, and the team needs to do all it can to fix them.

“It is fair to say that we’re not the best. We are losing time in the pit stops and it’s an area that we have been focusing on for a while now,” Shovlin said in a video interview.

“In particular, in Lewis’ stop, we did have an issue with one of the guns and in the next stop, we actually changed to a different gun. And that seemed to resolve that issue. And also there was a short hold – we had to hold him for around four-tenths of a second because Giovinazzi was coming down the pit lane just at the point that Lewis was ready to go.”

“There were some specific instances that affected us in the race at Imola, and we’ll look to work on those. But longer term we’re still looking at what we can do with the crew, with the equipment to try and get a bit more time on those stops.”

Mercedes were lucky to keep their constructors’ title lead, thanks to a storming drive by Hamilton to come second, but the three-pointed star will hope to turn things around at the Portuguese Grand Prix in seven days’ time.

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